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Twenty terrorists surrender before army in J&K

Abandoning the path of violence, 20 terrorists of different outfits surrender in Baramulla district, reports Tejinder Singh Sodhi.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2006 18:07 IST

A group of twenty Pakistani trained terrorists of different terrorist outfits laid down their arms on Saturday in front of the General Officer in Command of the 19 infantry division of the Indian army in Baramulla.

The terrorists had crossed the line of control to PoK to take up arms training between 1993 and 2002; the surrendered terrorists said that they were fed up with the treatment they received in the terrorist training camps in PoK.

Abdul Gaffar a resident of Lolab in Kupwara district of North Kashmir while speaking to media persons said that he had crossed the line of control to PoK in 1993 to take up weapons training there. "After crossing the LoC I was lodged in Batrasi camp of Hizbul Mujahideen, where I was given weapons training. In 1996 everything changed when my brother was killed, I was told that Indian army killed him but later when I got a letter from my home telling me that he was killed by a member of my own outfit because of his affiliation with a political party."

He added, "When I came to know the reality I refused to come back to Kashmir to work on the nefarious plans of our leaders who led a luxurious life and wanted us to become scapegoats."

Gaffar said that he saw a ray of hope towards the solution of Kashmir issue when Hizbul Mujahideen's Kashmir Chief Abdul Majid Dar in 2000 declared ceasefire in Kashmir. "We were hopeful that peace in Kashmir was around the corner when Abdul Majid Dar declared ceasefire, but Sayeed Sallahudin killed him by labelling him as an Indian agent." He further added, "Sayeed Sallahudin terminated all those leaders who were in favour of bringing about normalcy in Kashmir, as he wanted to be the sole leader of the Kashmiri people."

He said that around three hundred Kashmiris undergoing training in PoK separated from Sayeed Sallahudin over the issue of the killing of the Kashmiri leaders in Kashmir and formed another group there.

When asked to comment on the reason why he went to PoK to take up weapons training there he said that the reason was 'unemployment', 'illiteracy' and the 'motivation to do something for the community'. Gaffar said, "They disillusioned us by giving the wrong interpretation of the doctrine of Jihad, but after reaching there we came to know that it was for money that those people used us. They promised that 50,000 rupees would be given to the family of each one of us who attain martyrdom but we came to know from the family members of those who died that nothing was ever paid to them."

Another surrendered terrorist Pervaiz Ahmed, a resident of Budgam district in central Kashmir said, "I was in Boai camp near Muzaffarabad. The camps of Kashmir youth are usually located in the forest area whereas the camps of foreigners are in posh area with all the modern facilities. Those who are undergoing training in such camps get all sorts of facilities. Majority of them are the criminals in Pakistani jails and had volunteered to go and fight in Kashmir. But the Kashmiri youth are given worst form of treatment there."

The surrendered terrorists said that the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus launched last year has also played a major role in their surrender, "We were in constant touch with our family members with the help of the passengers visiting PoK by the bus. We conveyed our desire to surrender through them and now we have landed safely here after facing various hardships," said Naseer Ahmed a surrendered terrorist.

Giving details of the surrender, Brigadier DS Hooda, station commander Uri said, "this is a positive step that 110 terrorists from PoK have come and surrendered before us in last few months and we are getting inputs that a lot more of them (terrorists) want to surrender too."

First Published: Nov 25, 2006 15:24 IST