Encouraged by the results of the new surrender policy, the Jammu & Kashmir Police have begun to reach out to the families of local youth who have joined militancy to motivate them to return to the mainstream.

Under the initiative, Deputy Inspector General (South Kashmir) Swyam Prakesh Pani and Superintendent of Police, Shopian, Sriram Ambarkar have met families of more than 20 local militants, a police spokesperson said.

During the interaction, the officers assured the families that the doors to surrender are open for their sons and care will be taken for their rehabilitation.

“The DIG talked to every family separately and listened to them patiently. Some of the family members turned extremely emotional and burst into tears,” the spokesperson said.

A relentless campaign on social media and “religious indoctrination” have of late lured dozens of school dropouts and college students into militancy in Kashmir.

There are nearly 150 local militants active in the Valley while 85 have been killed so far this year.

To counter this, the police have launched a vigorous counselling campaign to discourage youth from joining militancy.

There have been some positive results so far.

The arrest of six local militants after two encounters and the surrender of 20-year-old footballer Majid Khan, who had joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba but returned within a week, is seen as part of the police’s initiative.

Since Majid returned, nearly 10 families have asked their sons to come back through videos circulated widely on social media.

But despite the initial success, the decision is fraught with perils.

According to figures compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal, 3,195 militants surrendered between 1990 and 2001.

However, a good percentage among them were either killed by the militants later, were forced to return to militancy or were used by security forces for counter-insurgency, including in the notorious militia called Ikhwan, held responsible for several excesses.

This year’s “Operation All Out” saw the highest number of militants being killed in the Valley in the last seven years.

According to official figures, more than 200 militants have been killed this year, including 85 local youth.

While the encounters continue, there seems to be a new emphasis on pulling the youth out of militancy.

Leave a Reply