Surrender: We’ll Not Kill You, IGP Kashmir To Militants

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Srinagar—After maintaining a “take no prisoners” policy for a long time, the security forces in Kashmir are contemplating a surrender policy for militants promising them ‘safety’ and a ‘comprehensive rehabilitation’ package.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Munir Khan, Thursday while disclosing the policy at a press briefing here Thursday, said. “The government is keen to have a surrender policy for militants. We’ll encourage militants to surrender. They are welcome and we will take care of them.”

The policy comes in the backdrop of Delhi’s plans to intensify anti-Militant operations in the state.

A meeting chaired by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top officials of ministries of Home and Defence, have given instructions to the security forces to ‘act tough’ against the militants.

The IGP said the surrender policy would hold good for those militants also who arrive here from the other part of Kashmir as for those active in this part of Kashmir.

Stating that some 5 to 6000 militants have laid down their weapons since 1990, a senior police officer told Kashmir Observer that a proper surrender policy for militants in Kashmir was already in vogue that included financial aid and a relocation package as well.

“A surrendered militant gets some 3 to 4 lakh rupees as a rehab package and a monthly stipend also,” he said pleading anonymity.

“The Operation Kund in the Kashmir Valley has brought to the fore the humane face of security forces, which ensured that the surrendered militants are saved and don’t get into the cross-fire,” Khan said.

Speaking to the media, the Inspector General of Police said, “One local militant, Atta Mohammad Malik, was badly injured during the encounter and could have died but the jawans, despite losing one of their associates in the encounter, rushed him (the militant) to the hospital, where he is now out of danger.”

Since Tuesday, the Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jammu & Kashmir police have been engaged in an anti-terrorism operation in the forests of Haalan-Kund area of Qazigund, in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Three militants, Atta Mohammad Malik, Shams-ul-Wiqar and Bilal Sheikh, have been captured alive.

 

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The top cop said that the incident is an example of security forces’ commitment to give militants a chance to surrender and get into the mainstream.

“We have been appealing to the local militants that if they signal surrendering even during the encounter then we wouldn’t kill them. It is our commitment to give a chance to local militants to join their families.”

He said the police desire that local militants, including footballer Majid Khan, who recently joined the militants, should return to their families. “We are willing to provide all kinds of help,” Khan added

Majid’s mother had, in a fervent video appeal posted online, requested her son to come back. “The mother wailing for her child has stirred our hearts and it would be our prime concern to capture him alive,” said another police officer. “We wouldn’t like to kill this lad. I’m looking forward to the day when he returns and joins the family.”

“Under the most unfavourable conditions”, the police officer said, “he’d have to spend two or three months in detention, rest he would be allowed to walk freely.”

The government had prior to this, announced two such policies for former militants. The first, launched in 2004 was for those militants living in Jammu and Kashmir, while the second, in 2010, focused on former militants from Kashmir living in Pakistan desirous of returning to the Valley.

A top police source disclosed to Kashmir Observer that the government has been contemplating a third policy: For those who have joined the militancy only recently and who wish to return to their families and join the mainstream.

To emphasise the security forces’ commitment, the surrendered militants Shams-ul-Wiqar and Bilal Sheikh were brought before the media.

“We can’t present Atta Mohammad Malik as he is in hospital,” Khan said.

A militant and an Army soldier were killed on the first day of the operation. The slain militant has been identified as Muzammil of Kulgam area.

The joint operation was launched after the specific information about the presence of a joint group of six Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants in the forest area of of Haalan-Kund was received.

The IG, Kashmir range, blamed Pakistan for luring the young Kashmiris into militancy.

“Relentless social media campaign has been started by Pakistan to lure youth to join militancy,” he said. “Such forces are also indulging in religious exploitation. The 15-25 age group is immature and is unable to differentiate between good and evil.”

He said that police will compile their recommendations to the government with regard to the surrender policy and it will hopefully be implemented very soon.

Responding to a question, IGP Kashmir said that youth are driven to militancy because of the influence of social media and religious factors.

Munir Khan said that due to presence of more local militants in South Kashmir, youth are joining militant ranks in large number in the region than the North Kashmir where the number of local militants is minimal.

Responding to a question, IGP said that operation at Waltengu Qazigund is still in progress.

IG CRPF at the occasion said there is a greater synergy between all the security forces to conduct anti-militancy operations.

Army Sector Commander Sachin Malik said they will continue the Operations till the militancy is here. He said Army will calibrate on application of force during the encounters and post encounter situations.

SSP Kulgam Shridhar Patil was also present at the press briefing.

He said that around 17 youth have joined militancy in the last four months

 

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