Pak Wives Of 'surrendered' Militants To Be Deported
3 August 2007
Srinagar: The wives of some militants who crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and surrendered will be deported by the Jammu and Kashmir government as they are not Indian nationals. The Foreigners Regional Registration Office is preparing to serve notices to the wives of three men who surrendered with their families for initiating proceedings for their deportation to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), official sources here said. The cases of nearly two dozen people who accompanied militants who have surrendered since January last year are also being taken simultaneously for deportation, they said. The women who accompanied the militants were either Pakistani nationals or residents of PoK and therefore had to be deported as they had entered India illegally, the sources said. The decision to deport them was taken after taking several factors into consideration, including intelligence reports that the Lashker-e- Taiba might be 'infiltrating' its women cadres into Jammu and Kashmir in the garb of such surrenders. 'We cannot rule out the possibility that militants may be using such tactics to infiltrate into the Kashmir Valley through surrenders,' a senior police official said. Three militants and their families crossed the LoC in July. Among these persons were two women and four children whose nationality was yet to be established, the sources said. The sources said several discrepancies were found in statements made by some of members of these families, now in the 'rehabilitation custody' of the army, when they were questioned by immigration officials. The FRRO got a green signal for the deportation after the Centre rejected surrenders at the LoC, especially in the area under the jurisdiction of the army brigade in Uri in north Kashmir. Nearly 80 such surrenders had taken place last year, while the figure has crossed 50 this year. The army has given patronage to these militants and did not let state police question them. However, the army's move was questioned by state police and Central security agencies, who suggested that the surrenders could be a ploy by Pakistan's ISI to create 'sleeper cells' in the Kashmir Valley. After getting a nod from the state government, police questioned the militants and found that all of them had a similar story about their surrenders. This was enough to raise several eyebrows in the security establishment, sources said. The army was questioned at various forums about the authenticity of these surrenders and whether a background check was carried out on those who surrendered. The security agencies were then surprised to learn that no such checks had been carried out by the army, they said. The sources said some of those who surrendered had been taken into preventive custody by police as it was suspected that they were involved in terror attacks in the frontier district of Kupwara. The army, after being asked to stop all such surrenders, is now claiming that 2,000 people were waiting across the border to infiltrate into the valley.