20 Kashmiri Youth In PoK Recommended For Return To J&K12 May 2011
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government has recommended cases of 20 Kashmiri militants operating in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to return to their homes in the state under Cross-LoC surrender and rehabilitation policy. 'We have cleared the cases of 20 persons. The names have been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for further follow up,' State Home Commissioner, B R Sharma said. 'The committee has recommended that they should be given benefit of the (surrender and rehabilitation) policy,' Sharma said. Vetted by the Union Home Ministry, the Jammu and Kashmir government formally announced and issued the procedure of implementation of the surrender and rehabilitation policy on November 23 last year. The policy intends to facilitate the return of ex-militants who belong to Jammu and Kashmir and had crossed over to PoK or Pakistan for arms and explosive training but had later given up militant activities due to change of heart and are willing to return to the state. A high level panel comprising Financial Commissioner (Home) as its Chairman, DGP, ADGP CID, Principal Secretary Law department, Zonal IGPs and Joint Secretary Ministry of Home Affair (MHA) (Kashmir wing) met in Srinagar and approved 20 cases of Kashmiri youth for return to their homes in the Valley under the policy. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday had said the government has received nearly 700 applications from local militants in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, who want to renounce violence and join the mainstream. 'This is a process. We have received 175 cases, which are with different organisation. 20 cases have been cleared for MHA and MEA,' he said. 'The rest of the cases would also get clearance as after every 15 days meetings are being held by the panel for clearance,' the State Home Commissioner said. Out of nearly 700 applications received by various District SPs in Jammu and Kashmir, 125 cases have been recommended by various authorities after giving their approval to the high level panel of the state government. An estimated 1,300 youths from various parts of the state are in PoK and most of them have expressed their desire to return.These application, which are in the petition form as prescribed in the State Home Department notification on surrender and rehabilitation policy guidelines, have been filed with police chiefs of various districts in the state. 'Those who have gone to PoK-Pakistan between 1.1.1989 and 31.12.2009 and their dependents will be eligible for consideration under the policy,' the policy had said. The District Superintendent of Police of concerned district, where the prospective returnees normally resides before crossing over to Pok-Pak would be the designated authority to whom the parents or close relatives of the prospective returnees or in exception circumstances, the prospective returnee himself may apply in the prescribed proforma. All such applications would be first scrutinised by the District SPs and them forwarded to the CID along with their comments. The CID in turn will scrutinise all the applications in consultation with central intelligence agencies, review the cases registered against the persons and prepare a dossier based on which a recommendations can be made. The dossier so prepared are being forwarded to the home department by the state CID where a final decision on whether the application should be accepted or otherwise would be taken by the panel. All such ultras permitted to return under the proposed policy would be allowed to enter only through Wagah, Attari Joint Check Points (JCPs) along the International Border in Punjab sector and Salamabad and Chakan-Da-Bagh LoC points in Jammu and Kashmir, the policy said. Counselling centre will be established where all the returnees along with their wives and children would be lodged for a period of three months or for such a period as would be necessary till they are thoroughly interviewed, briefed and all necessary documentation is prepared, it said. 'The returnees shall not be entitled to any of the special benefits or privileges available in the existing surrender and rehabilitation policy and no general amnesty is envisaged under this policy,' it said.