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B.Tech. student-turned-militant surrenders in Pulwama district

Saqib Akbar Waza, a B.Tech student of a varsity in Punjab. Special Arrangement.  

A 22-year-old engineering student-turned-militant was convinced to surrender amid a raging encounter, which left his associate dead, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday evening.

A “specific tip-off” led the security forces to encircle Saqib Akbar Waza, a B.Tech student of a varsity in Punjab, and his associate, Showker Ahmad, in a built up area of Noorpora village of Awantipora area in Pulwama.

The first few minutes of exchange of fire resulted in the killing of Ahmad, a recycled militant who was trained in Pakistan and shunned violence only to rejoin the Hizbul Mujahideen last year. The remaining armed militant was Waza.

“When we came to know about Waza, a local, being alive and trapped, we halted the fire at the house. A special team had already contacted the family. The parents were brought to the encounter site to have a conversation with their trapped son. We positioned ourselves patiently to ensure he surrenders,” IGP Vijay Kumar told The Hindu.

Within 35 minutes, Waza, who was carrying a pistol and a grenade, surrendered before the security forces.

“Waza, a resident of Batagund was pursuing his B.Tech when he was reported missing on September 20 this year. His gun-toting images also surfaced online. He is the fourth youth to surrender during a live encounter this year,” IGP Kumar said.

The J&K police and the Army, of late, have started a surrender policy for the local youth, where parents of the trapped militants are called to the encounter site to convince them to surrender.

“We appeal to parents of recently recruited youth to persuade their sons to surrender and leave the path of violence.”

Despite the security forces killing around 190 militants this year, the militant recruitments have not shown any significant let up in the Kashmir valley.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 12:20:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/btech-student-turned-militant-surrenders-in-pulwama-district/article32948486.ece

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