As many as 18 persons from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) were detained by security forces when they were trying to enter India via Nepal from Sonauli border in Mahrajganj District of Uttar Pradesh, SSB sources said on Saturday.

The group of 18 persons were stopped by the SSB and local police for checking on Friday as they failed to produce valid documents about their identity.

All of the detainees, who hailed from PoK’s Muzaffarabad town and had left Jammu and Kashmir in 1989 and 2009, wanted to come back India in view of the new Rehabilitation policy (2010) of the Jammu and Kashmir government, Sashastra Seema Bal Deputy Commandant of Sonouli, Mitul Kumar said.

According to the new surrender policy, former militants who crossed over to PoK between 1989 and 2009 will be considered for safe return.

Mr. Kumar told PTI that the group comprising four men, five women and nine children were sent to Jammu and Kashmir cell in Delhi by road. Jawans of the SSB were also accompanying them, he added.

“They were married and settled there,” he said, adding that the SSB would be accompanying the group till Delhi and from there the Central intelligence agencies would take over charge of them.