After footballer’s return, another militant is back home in Kashmir
A Kashmiri man, who had joined militancy, is back with his family in Kulgam district of South Kashmirindia Updated: Nov 20, 2017 14:30 IST
A Kashmiri man who had joined a militant group has returned home, officials said on Monday, days after a 20-year-old footballer from the restive state left the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) following his mother’s tearful appeal in a video that was widely shared on social media.
Officials were tight-lipped about the identity of the man and the militant outfit he was working for.
However, Kashmir’s inspector general of police Munir Khan told the Hindustan Times that the man belongs to Kulgam district in south Kashmir.
“I can’t disclose his details but yes he has joined his family in Kulgam yesterday (Sunday),” Khan said.
“We are neither taking it as a surrender nor arresting him. Everyone is free to come back,” he added.
Majid Khan, a resident of Anantnag in south Kashmir, surrendered on November 16. The bright student and a popular football goalkeeper became the LeT’s latest recruit in the Valley last week, triggering grief among family members and neighbours.
Mahmood Shah, a self-styled chief of LeT in Jammu and Kashmir, was quoted by local media as saying that Khan was “permitted” to leave on the request of his mother.
The development prompted two more families from the region to issue similar emotional pleas for the return of their sons.
The tearful parents of a trader, Ashiq Hussain Bhat, approached the media with a message for him to return to their home in Shopian district. A photograph of Bhat brandishing a gun had gone viral on the social media after he went missing last week purportedly to join the LeT.
Manzoor Ahmad Baba, a 20-year-old fruit grower from Pulwama, also allegedly joined the ranks of militants recently.
Superintendents of police of Pulwama and Shopian districts said that neither Bhat nor Baba has returned.
The return of the Kulgam man came after top security officials in Kashmir on Sunday sought to draw a distinction between local and foreign militants, urging Kashmiri boys to return home as well as promising to “receive them in an honourable manner”.
“And we will help them. There will be no harassment and they will get help more than their expectations,” inspector general of Central Reserve Police Force, Zulfikar Hassan, said.
First Published: Nov 20, 2017 14:28 IST