India plans a surrender policy for Kashmiri youth taking up guns

Beautiful scenery of Zero bridge with Himalaya mountain covered with snow in the background.

Srinagar, Oct 16 (IANS) India is coming up with a surrender and rehabilitation policy for the youth who want to give up militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The Union Defence Ministry is deliberating over the issue with the Home Ministry in New Delhi.

The Indian Army is pushing the youth who have taken to arms to surrender so that they can be rehabilitated properly in the society, said 15 Corps GOC Lieutenant General B.S. Raju during an interaction at the Chinar Corps headquarters here.

He said: “We will be doing more work to ensure that more surrenders take place.”

The officer pointed out that it gives no pleasure to the forces to kill young boys who have picked up arms.

The men on the ground during counter-terror operations risk their lives to convince these youth to shun their guns and surrender.

He also said that the government is working on a surrender and rehabilitation policy. The matter is currently deliberated between the Defence Ministry and the Home Ministry.

“There are a lot of issues involved,” said Lieutenant General Raju, adding that he has directed those engaged in counter terror operations to ensure that no out-of-proportion force is used.

“Whenever a local terrorist is involved, we offer him to surrender first. Just because someone has held a gun and taken a picture doesn’t mean that he has to die,” said the officer.

The Lieutenant General also said that the forces have intensified the youth outreach programme and are ensuring that they are engaged in positive things.

This year three youth who had taken arms have surrendered while 50 have been apprehended so far.

On Friday itself, a special police officer who had run away with 2 AK rifles three days ago surrendered following an encounter after his family members were called in to convince him.

On October 13, the SPO had decamped with two AK 47 rifles. He was identified as Jahangir Bhat from Chadoora.

Indian Army continues to make efforts to prevent terror recruitment and in case of youth joining terror outfits, they provide them with options to return to normalcy.

Earlier, the administration had three surrender policies. However, the reintegration of militants was missing from them. The first surrender policy was made in 1995. The second rehabilitation policy was made in 2004 and the third was made in 2010 on return of ex-militants to the state.

The 2010 policy touched upon psychological rehabilitation by establishing counselling centres for the returnees and their families, but rehabilitation centres were never set up.

(Source: IANS)

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