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CRPF offers helpline to let J&K local militants return

CRPF IG, Zulfiquar Hasan

CRPF IG, Zulfiquar Hasan  

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The Central Reserve Police Force is one of the main central forces deployed in the state for counter-insurgency operations.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has thrown open its helpline (1441) for local militants willing to surrender to establish contact, CRPF Inspector General Zulfiquar Hasan told The Hindu on Monday.

Mr. Hasan, IG Operations in Srinagar said the helpline, launched earlier this year, has received more than 70,000 calls. “Since it is an established helpline, we decided that it should be used to help the local militants return home. We will guide them,” he said.

Foreign militants in Kashmir Valley would not be spared but security forces would pull out all the stops to ensure that the local boys who have joined terror groups come back to the mainstream, Mr. Hasan said.

The CRPF is one of the main central forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir for counter-insurgency operations.

“We are going to use the return of footballer Majeed Khan as an example to persuade other boys who have joined the terror groups,” Mr. Hasan said. Mr. Khan who had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) returned home after a video clip of an appeal by his mother went viral online.

The officer said the Centre has increased the civic action programme budget of the CRPF significantly this year.

“We are focussing on sports and are in touch with schools and colleges to organise tournaments. We have used the budget to construct basketball courts in some schools,” he said.

The officer said that as per the J&K police 60 boys had been weaned from militancy. “Following Majeed’s case, two more families have also appealed for their sons to return,” he said.

A senior Home Ministry official said that as of now 200 militants remained active in the Valley. On Sunday, J&K DGP S.P. Vaid had said that 190 terrorists had been killed this year and of them 66 were local boys.

As per a new surrender policy the State was considering provision of “passports and jobs to any local youth who gives up the gun” and “support for his full assimilation into society.”

Another official said that fresh recruitment of local boys by terrorist groups was going on primarily in South Kashmir districts.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 10:52:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/crpf-offers-helpline-to-let-jk-local-militants-return/article20587839.ece

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