Army ‘facilitating’ return of five local militants

Srinagar: Taking forward the surrender policy of local militants, the Army has established contact with five militants through their parents to facilitate their return.

Top army officials said the surrender policy would continue to ensure more local youth shun violence and join back their families.

“At least five parents who are in touch with us have contacted their children and possibly some of them (militants) may return. That is an indicator we are getting and we are hopeful to see their return soon,” a top Army official told the ‘Kashmir Vision’.

He said that four militants have returned to their families, which is in the larger interest of the society.

The army officer said that the existing alienation amongst the youth especially in south Kashmir has pushed youth towards militancy. “We have talked to many anguished parents of these boys and they want them back,” he said.

Notably, Lashkar-e-Toiba’s (LeT) recent-recruit Majid Khan (20), who was fast turning into a poster boy of the outfit, gave up arms and on November 16 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. He has been sent to Bangalore by his family for higher studies.

After Khan’s surrender, the trend of militants returning to their homes gained ground in south Kashmir. Even many families released videos online pleading their sons, who have picked up arms, to return home.

Following an appeal from his parents, Nasir Dar of Summar Damhal Hanji Pora in south Kashmir surrendered on November 29 and was handed over to his family by police.

Similarly, the family of Ashiq Hussain Bhat alias Abu Maaz of Rakipora Kaprin in south Kashmir Shopian district also released a video to request him to return home. In the video, parents and wife of Bhat – a LeT militant – is seen crying and pleading him to return to his family. However, as of now, there is no indication from Bhat to return home, officials said.

In another video, mother of Manzoor Ahmad of Drabgama village in Pulwama district has made a public appeal to the militant groups, pleading them to allow their son to return home. Ahmad, 20, has picked up arms in the first week of November and his family hopes he will join them back.

Army, Jammu Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force in September jointly offered Kashmiri militants to surrender. Even, they also offered to reward those who help in the surrender of militants.


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