Former Militants Form Association17 July 2011
Srinagar: Surrender militants in Baraamulla have formed an association to fight legal battle against government for “lackadaisical attitude” in implementing rehabilitation policy launched by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah for them. This group of surrendered militants alleged that the government has failed to keep its promise to rehabilitate them though they have surrender and are all living a normal life. Arif Ahmad Shah who claims to be the president of Surrendered Militants Association Baramulla said that the government apathy towards their plight has forced them to form an organization to fight for their rights and live a “decent normal life”. He said that under healing touch policy launched by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003, than Chief Minster, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Sheri Kashmir Park on 5 February, 2004 said that if any militant wants to surrender would be allowed to live a normal life. “Sayeed said that it is never late to return and if any militant wants to live a normal life and surrender would be rehabilitated,” Arif quoted the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He further claimed that government announced Rs 5 lakh relief under rehabilitation policy to every surrendered militant; however, it was only announced and never paid to any surrendered militant. “Three regimes, since then, changed but our plight has only added to further dimensions,” he said. According to Arif there are around 372 surrendered militants in his association from Baramulla district who have taken a pledge to fight for their rights. “We went to concerned deputy commissioner twice for the registration of our union. But he refused to register,” Arif said, adding that they decided to go on without the registration under the same banner to seek the attention of government. Stating that they are unemployed and looked down in society, he said that many of the surrendered militants in Uri applied for job in Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) but were denied. “We were asked to get the NOC from police department by HCC and police didn’t provide stating that until the verdict in court of our cases are pronounced no such certificate will issued,” he alleged. Stating that they have no other source of livelihood, Arif alleged that their land in Uri has also allegedly been occupied by the troops. “We would have started our own life but unfortunately there is nothing left for us. The farming was the only way to sustain our livelihood, but that is occupied by the troops,” he said. According to Arif he went to PaK with his brother as a kid in early 1990s. “As I was a kid my brother admitted me there in one school and I passed matriculation from there. After that I was desperate to move home back and I crossed the LoC and surrendered immediately after that,” he said. He said that after remaining in detention for fifteen days he was set free. He appealed government to provide some financial assistance and loans so that he can earn livelihood. Stating that his association has dispatched the letter in this regard to Chief Minster few months back, but no response. Inspector General police, S M Sahai said that it depends on the person to provide the character certificate. “It is the job of concerned police stations to verify the record of any person. Whoever have clean record will be given the verification certificate,” Sahai told Rising Kashmir.