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Surrender and join mainstream for safe future, security agencies tell militants

Boosted by the success against the rank and file of militants in recent times, security forces have jointly appealed to the insurgents and their overground workers to surrender and join the mainstream.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2017 21:01 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir,Anti-militancy operations,Security forces
Hizbul Mujahideen militant Adil Hussain is taken by a security personnel to be presented before the media by police in a joint press conference with the Army and the CRPF in Srinagar on Monday. Adil was arrested while two other militant were killed in the encounter at Barbugh area of Shopian.(Waseem Andrabi /HT PHOTO)

The police, army and the CRPF on Monday jointly appealed all the militants of Kashmir to lay down arms and join the mainstream after two of their colleagues surrendered during encounters in the past two days in south Kashmir.

They assured that those joining mainstream will have a safe future while heightened anti-insurgency operations in Kashmir would continue as part of a carrot-and-stick policy.

The appeal by security forces comes as home minister Rajnath Singh, on a four-day visit to Kashmir, spoke about compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence building and consistency for a solution to Kashmir issue.

Kashmir Inspector General of Police, Munir Khan, GoC Victor Force BS Raju and CRPF IG (operations) Zulfikar Hassan briefed media on Monday about the two encounters in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Kulgam districts over the past two days.

While four militants were killed (two in each operation), a militant Adil Hussain surrendered in Shopian while Arif Ahmad Sofi, an over ground worker of militants surrendered in Kulgam.

The slain militants killed in Kulgam on Monday were identified as Dawood Ahmad Allaie and Sayar Ahmad Wani, a police spokesman said.

“With a very clear message to others who have been lured into this that if they come, we will receive them with open arms, not necessarily during encounters. Even now they can come and join the mainstream. You must know that two other militants got killed in that encounter because after persuasion they choose to carry on with firing on the forces and fight a lost battle,” Munir Khan told media at police control room Kashmir.

Khan said that Arif was an “established and chronic” over ground worker and a “lifeline” for militants in that area and nobody would have questioned them if he was killed because he was with the militants.

“There were all the reasons to knock him off during the encounter but he did not have a weapon so we did not kill him. This is the difference between a disciplined force and terrorists,” he said.

The IG said that the surrender policy is not only for those who come from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). “I’m specifically referring to militants who surrender during encounters as happened yesterday. There is a policy for militants who come and surrender. The government is keen to rehabilitate them,” he said.

He also said security forces supposed to rehabilitate and help a militant join the mainstream if he is arrested or surrenders provided he is not involved in any heinous crime.

Read more: Two militants killed, one arrested in encounter in J-K’s Kulgam

Kashmir has been witnessing vigorous anti-insurgency operations by security forces in the past few months particularly after increase in militant activities following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July last year. Around 140 militants have been killed this year after security forces drew up a hit-list of top militant commanders and started going after them.

BS Raju, GOC of Victor Force gave details of the Shopian encounter and revealed that it took them four to five hours of hard talking and persuasion to make Adil Hussain surrender who was hiding with a weapon in a house. “It was well past midnight (in wee hours of Sunday) that finally Adil Hussain decided to surrender and then he came out of the house unharmed and laid down his arms. We truly appreciate the courage the individual took to come out,” Raju said.

“The operation resumed in the morning after evacuating families. The third terrorists in the house was injured we offered him to surrender but he did not and opened fire and we retaliated and neutralised him,” he said.

Raju appealed to everybody who wants to surrender that the forces would a safe passage. “That is an assurance directly from all the security agencies and Adil is a living example of that,” he said.

IGP CRPF (Operation) Zulfikar Hassan said that they wanted to assure every citizen of Kashmir that if anyone wants to surrender, safe passage is assured. “When three top agencies (police, army and CRPF) combine together with all their resources we can ensure a safe life for anyone who wants to surrender and join the mainstream. We want to assure every person that your future will be safe if you decide to get away from anyone who is misguiding you,” he said.

Hassan said that biggest reward is given to a person who chooses to surrender or ensures that somebody surrenders because that is the biggest achievement. “Surrender will always be given priority,” he said.

However the officials said that the pace of operations against the militants will continue. “Our main target is the militant leadership who recruit people,” said IGP Khan.

First Published: Sep 11, 2017 21:01 IST