No charges will be pressed against him: GOC Victor Force
Anantnag: Majid Irshad Khan, the 20-year-old ace footballer and development practitioner of Anantnag who picked up arms a week ago, presented himself before the army late Thursday evening so that he could return home to live with his parents.
Majid had gone missing from home last Thursday. Hours after his disappearance, pictures of him posing with an assault rifle went viral on social media. His parents, 59-year-old Irshad Khan and 50-year-old Ayisha Begum, made passionate appeals, which were reported by both local and Indian media, for their only son to shun arms and return home.
A social media campaign of sorts was also started to appeal to Majid to come back to his parents.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the army’s Victor Force, Lt Gen BS Raju, said that information was received Thursday evening that Majid wanted to turn himself in. “It was ensured that the individual was safely brought in,” Raju told reporters today.
Soon after the news of Majid’s surrender started doing rounds, his father Irshad Khan told media persons in Anantnag that he was indebted to everyone who campaigned for Majid’s return.
“We are really happy. He should reach home healthy and alive, that’s all we asked for,” Khan said. “We are thankful to every person who played a part in bringing him back.”
Khan said that he suffered a heart attack after Majid left to join militancy. “I suffered a heart attack after he left and it is a miracle that I am still alive. His mother was devastated. She would not have survived had Majid not come back,” Khan said.
Majid was working with an NGO Mother Helpage led by Suhail Nasti.
Later in the day, Majid was briefly paraded before a battery of press reporters at the army’s Victor Force headquarters in Awantipora area of Pulwama district, hours after senior police officials denied that Majid had “surrendered or had been apprehended”.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Munir Khan had ‘reiterated’ that Majid had not surrendered or been arrested.
The IGP said that he was asked questions by some friends in the media this morning, who wanted to know whether Majid had surrendered or if he had been apprehended. “I told them he has neither surrendered nor has he been apprehended, and I reiterate the same this time as well. He has just come back to his family,” Munir Khan told reporters at Awantipora.
He said that Majid came back on his own and his parents and friends were instrumental in bringing him back.
“We stick to our policy of letting the youth, who have treaded a wrong path, to come back. We will welcome them with open arms,” the IGP said.
He also appealed to local youths who had picked up arms to come back and live with respect and dignity at their homes.
Asked whether Majid will serve as example for other youths who have picked up arms, the IGP said that others will certainly follow suit.
“We are true to our word. Only yesterday we gave a live example where a terrorist who had killed an army jawan was rescued by security forces and sent to hospital. What more can be an example of sincerity and sticking to the word?” Khan said.
BS Raju, who was present at the IGP’s presser, complimented Majid’s family, the people of Kashmir, and the media in particular for campaigning for the safe return of Majid.
“Most importantly I would like to compliment the brave boy Majid himself, who decided to shun the path of violence and get back to the mainstream,” Raju said.
Raju assured that no charges will be pressed against Majid. “Having facilitated his return, we also want to assure that no charges will be pressed against him and he will be able to get back to normal life very soon,” the army commander said.