June 2002 News

11 more militants surrender in Kashmir

4 June 2002
The Times of India

SRINAGAR: Another 11 militants handed themselves over to the civil and police authorities in Kashmir on Wednesday and surrendered their arms and ammunition, an army spokesman said. The surrender ceremony, the second in five days, was organised by the Indian army in the northern Kashmir district of Kupwara. On Saturday, 21 rebels gave themselves up at a similar function in Kupwara, 100 km north of Srinagar. The militants are members of the pro-Pakistan militant groups Hizbul Mujahideen, al Barq, Zarb-e-Islam and al Fateh, the spokesman said. In all, they surrendered 11 AK-47 assault rifles, two dozen grenades, a landmine and two grenade launchers, besides other arms and ammunition. The spokesman said efforts by the army, police, intelligence agencies and the families of the militants all combined to persuade the militants to surrender. ''There is a latent groundswell within the public against terrorism which could, sooner rather than later, manifest itself,'' he said. The army officers present during the surrender ceremony said the militants had expressed a desire to shun violence and lead a normal life instead of as fugitives in the forests. ''They were either duped or coerced into joining militancy,'' said Brigadier B.S. Ghotra. ''This action of surrender is likely to give impetus to others to follow suit and thereby bring normalcy to the state.''


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