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New J&K surrender policy to target local militants

Army and J&K Police present Majid Khan, a footballer-turned militant, to the media at a a joint press conference at Awantipora in Pulwama district of South Kashmir on November 17, 2017.

Army and J&K Police present Majid Khan, a footballer-turned militant, to the media at a a joint press conference at Awantipora in Pulwama district of South Kashmir on November 17, 2017.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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“We are after foreign terrorists. At the same time, we want to give chance to local boys to surrender... I hope mothers of other militants too will ask them to rejoin the mainstream,” J&K DGP S.P. Vaid said.

With a fresh surrender policy being framed by the government, the Army and the J&K Police, in a joint appeal on Sunday, asked all local militants to give up arms and assured them “full cooperation” to join the mainstream. Over 130 local militants are still active in the Valley.

“We are after foreign terrorists. We want to give the local boys a chance to surrender. The return of Majid Khan (who had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba) will start a new phase. I hope mothers of other militants will follow suit [in making an appeal]. I foresee a violence-free and disturbance-free Kashmir soon,” said J&K DGP S.P. Vaid.

He was addressing a press conference with Lt. Gen. J.S. Sandhu, the General Officer Commanding of the Army’s 15 Corps; A.S. Raju, GOC, Victor Force; Kashmir Inspector General of Police Muneer Khan; and the IG Operations, CRPF, Zulfikar Hassan.

They said local militants could use the helpline if they want to come back. A police official said the government has taken inputs from all security agencies to frame the fresh policy

Also read: In Kashmir, militancy is a black hole that sucks in young stars

Earlier, the surrender policy was limited to those who crossed the Line of Control into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the early 1990s and were stuck there.

The new surrender policy is considering provision of “passports and jobs to any local youth who gives up the gun” and “support for his full assimilation into society,” official sources said.

Meanwhile, parents of two more militants — Ashiq Hussain Bhat from Shopian and Manzoor Ahmad Baba from Pulwama — have appealed through the media to their sons to give up militancy and rejoin the family.

Around 60 boys have already been “brought back into the fold”, said the police. At least 190 militants have been killed this year. Of these, 66 were locals. “There is a remarkable change in the situation. The agitation that peaked earlier this year has been brought under control,” said GOC Sandhu. On the Hajin operation, in which six LeT militants were killed on Saturday, DGP Vaid said, “These militants killed [former counter-insurgency personnel] Rashid Billa and Ramzan Parray, an officer, and attempted a fidayeen attack in Bandipora.”

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 3:16:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jk-police-army-offer-surrender-option-to-local-militants/article20555586.ece

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