21 militants surrender in Valley
4 October 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: In a major success for Army, 21 militants of different outfits, hailing mostly from Baramulla and Kupwara districts, today surrendered before 19 Infantry Division within a day of their infiltration from Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector. Defence sources said the militants laid down arms before GOC 19 Division Maj Gen Halgali and Brig D S Hooda besides other senior Army officers on LoC in Baramulla sector this morning. The militants had fled from their training camps in Pakistan after being meted out miserable treatment and crossed over to Indian side on intervening night of October 2 and 3 in two different batches, the sources said. Immediately after their infiltration, they raised their hands and offered themselves for surrender, they said, adding the Army personnel took all 21 militants into custody. The formal surrender ceremony was held in Baramulla sector this morning where the militants also inter-acted with the media personnel. They handed over 21 modern weapons and ammunition to the Army personnel at the time of surrender. The Defence sources described surrender by 21 militants in one go as a big achievement of Army. The surrendered militants belonged to Hizb-e-Islami, Al Barq and Jaish-e-Mohammed outfits. According to Defence sources, the militants belonged to different villages of Baramulla and Kupwara districts and were undergoing arms training in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Pakistani camps for last two to five years. They told media persons that they were shabbily treated in training camps by Pakistan army, their Intelligence sleuths and foreign militants. They were treated as second class citizens and sometimes were even made to work as labourers, they said, adding once they all met secretly and decided to cross over to Indian side and surrender to Army. 'We got any opportunity on intervening night of October 2 and 3 and fled away from our camps. In two batches, we crossed LoC with hands up and offered ourselves for surrender', they said. They claimed that many more Kashmiri boys in PoK camps were fed up with ill-treatment being meted out to them by Pakistan authorities and were waiting for an opportunity to cross over to Kashmir. Army, however, declined to disclose identity of the surrendered militants to ensure their safety. Their faces were covered when they surrendered and talked to the media.