LeT’s poster boy bids ‘farewell’ to arms

Srinagar: Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT’s) recent-recruit Majid Khan (20), who was fast turning into a poster boy of the outfit, gave up arms and returned home-the process facilitated by the Army.

Khan, who joined militant ranks on November 9, returned home after an online message from his ailing mother, Ayesha Khan, pleading him to rejoin the family, went viral.

“Last evening we got information that there is an opportunity from the family that this individual (Khan) wants to come back. And we did what we needed to ensure that the individual was safely brought in,” General Officer Commanding of Army’s Victor Force Maj Gen B S Raju told reporters in Awantipora in south Kashmir.

Raju, who went to meet Khan on Thursday night in an Army camp in Khanbal where his family brought him, said security forces would not press any charge against him. He said Khan has not surrendered any weapon.

Khan, a lone child of his family and a Commerce graduate, is a well-known footballer and social work volunteer. After joining militants, which sent his family into a shock, his family and friends made online appeals to him, asking him to give up arms.

“At this time I would say again neither he (Khan) surrendered nor has he been apprehended. He has come back to his family on his own. He went on his own to see how it tastes and he came back on his own. Of course his parents and friends were instrumental in bringing him back,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Munir Khan said.

Notably, Khan’s father, Irshad Ahmad, suffered a minor heart attack after his son went missing.

After Khan’s return he said, “He (Khan) was the only support of the family. I am thankful to everyone who helped us in our son’s return,” Ahmad said.

Khan’s return has come after three local militants were arrested and one killed by security forces on Wednesday during an ongoing anti-militancy operation in south Kashmir in Kulgam district.

Officials say the arrest of Shamsul Vikar on Wednesday and return of Khan will snap the links and inspirations for the youth towards the militants particularly in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

However, it is to be seen whether the return of Khan will act as a trigger to more surrenders as over 230 militants including 110 locals are active in Kashmir.



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