It was an emotional reunion for the family members of the twenty terrorists who surrendered before the army in Baramulla on Saturday, many of whom crossed the line of control thirteen years back.
Twenty Pakistani trained terrorists of various terrorist outfits like Tehrik-e-Jehad, Hizb-e-Islami, Hizbul Mujahideen and Kashmir Revolutionary Force on Saturday laid down their weapons before the Indian army in a ceremony organised in Baramulla, the group had returned back from PoK on Friday evening.
With tears rolling down their eyes, the family members of the twenty surrendered terrorists hugged them, kissed them and showered their blessing over them.
Abdul Razaq Dar (79) a resident of Guzarbal Kamarwari in Srinagar could not hold his tears back when he met his son Zahoor Ahmed after a gap of seven years. Zahoor had crossed the line of control in 1999 to take up arms and ammunition training there. "It was my last wish to see my son and the wish has been granted. Now I can die peacefully," he said. He added, "one day, when he was studying in sixth standard, he did not return home. We searched for him, enquired everywhere, lodged a complain of his disappearance with the local police and finally one day someone told us that he has crossed the line of control to PoK."
Abdul Razaq said that after his son is released from the jail he would find a suitable bride to get him married.
Twenty one year old Zahoor is also excited to meet his family after a gap of seven years, and he wants to start his life afresh, "I wasted seven years of my life. I wanted to become a doctor but was forced to cross the LoC to take up weapons as they had threatened to kill my entire family. Now I am happy that I am back with my parents though I lost my mother during these days which is the biggest loss I ever had," he said.
But the journey for people like Zahoor, who surrendered before the army on Saturday, to this side of the valley has not been so easy. They had to risk their life while crossing the Line of Control as the Pakistani army and ISI knew their intentions to surrender and tried to eliminate them.
"Farooq Ahmed Qureshi, our commander in Pok who gave us weapon training, was aware that we were going to surrender. He knew we were fed up with their hollow slogans of Jihad so he wanted to eliminate us.
With the help of a good friend of mine I managed to escape in the dickey of his vehicle and he dropped me near the LoC before surrendering to the Indian Army," said Ghulam Mohmmed Shah who crossed PoK in 1997.
All the twenty terrorists who surrendered before the army on Saturday had a common feeling of pain, agony, grief, suffering and longingness for their family members with whom they had been separated for years. The army had named the surrender as homecoming ceremony.
Speaking to HT, Brigadier DS Hooda, station commander Uri said, "We have debriefed these boys and they will be handed to the police and after all the formalities the police would let them go to their parents."