Another Kashmiri youngster returns, police promise to go easy on those who give up violence
Security forces have been attempting to draw a distinction between local and foreign militants, urging Kashmiri boys to shun violence, promising them help and an honourable return.india Updated: Nov 21, 2017 07:22 IST
The Kashmiri youth who denounce militancy and have not been involved in violence will be spared legal action, the border state’s top police officer SP Vaid said on Monday in yet another move to bring local militants to the mainstream.
For those involved in “certain incident”, they would decide on a case to case basis, director general of police Vaid told Hindustan Times on a day news of another militant returning home emerged.
“Others who have been involved in certain incidents, we will examine their cases and then decide. We will certainly be lenient,” he said.
Police were tight-lipped about the identity of the man and the outfit he dumped.
All that Kashmir’s inspector general of police Munir Khan told Hindustan Times was that the man was from Kulgam district in south Kashmir, the hotbed of militancy.
“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 surrender nor arresting him. Everyone is free to come back.”
Later in the day, Kulgam superintendent of police Shridhar Patil said the youth was 17 and went missing a month and a half ago. “Before he could actually join them (militants) and hold a gun in his hands, we persuaded him to come back,” Patil said.
The Kulgam teenager is the second local to return home in a week.
On November 16, a popular footballer, Majid Khan, who joined Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, came back to his family.
Encouraged by his return, security forces on Sunday sought to draw a distinction between local and foreign militants, urging Kashmiri boys to shun violence, promising them all help and an honourable return.
A resident of Anantnag in south Kashmir, Majid Khan surrendered a week after joining the Lashkar. A video of his distraught mother, shared widely on social media, asking him to come back is believed to have changed Khan’s mind.
It prompted two more families to send out similar messages.
The parents of Ashiq Hussain Bhat, a Shopian trader, approached the media with the message for him after a photograph of their son brandishing a gun was shared on social media.
Bhat, who allegedly wanted to join Lashkar, went missing last week.
Manzoor Ahmad Baba, a 20-year-old fruit grower from Pulwama, allegedly joined militant ranks recently.
Despite the pleas, the two men had not returned, police said.