GoI Goes Tough On Illegal Entry Of Kashmir Ultras Into J&K

24 June 2014
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is understood to have decided to go tough on illegal and unchecked infiltration of former Kashmiri militants into Jammu and Kashmir under the garb of Rehabilitation Policy of the State Government. It has sought details on number of illegal infiltrators, who have entered the State after announcement of the policy in 2010, steps taken to maintain surveillance on them and plans for rehabilitation of their kin. Official sources told the Excelsior that the MHA has voiced concern over illegal infiltration of former Kashmiri militants from Pakistan and PoK through Nepal route, which was not part of Rehabilitation Policy of the Government. The MHA has asked its para-military force-Seema Shastra Bal (SSB) to take all possible measures to prevent illegal infiltration of former militants into the country. They said the MHA has taken serious note of large scale influx of former militants into Jammu and Kashmir, which, according to reports given by the Intelligence agencies, could become major security threat in the future as some of the former ultras, who were trained in Pakistan and PoK camps, could be exploited by the militant outfits in the State. The Centre, sources said, has not directly opposed the Rehabilitation Policy of the State Government, which had been approved by the previous Home Ministry, but wanted it to be followed properly as it prescribed only four routes for return of the Kashmiri militants. Nepal route from which majority of militants have returned so far didn't figure among the four authorized routes for return of militants from Pakistan and PoK. Nearly 800 former militants and their family members including Pakistani wives and children have returned to the State after the announcement of Rehabilitation Policy by the State Government but none of them had taken four prescribed routes (in the Policy). Majority of them have taken Nepal route through Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after flying to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal from Pakistan's port city of Karachi. Sources said the Government of India has taken note of the Intelligence reports that some of the militants, who had come back from Pakistan, could be recycled into the militancy by the militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen especially when the Assembly elections were due in the State in next few months. There had been reports that the two militant outfits were in touch with the militants, who have returned. They added that the Union Government wants the Intelligence agencies of the State Government to maintain strict surveillance on the militants, who have returned from Nepal and other routes to ensure that none of them was recycled into the militancy. In the month of April and May this year, more than 100 militants and their family members had returned from Nepal route into Jammu and Kashmir. However, after the BJP led NDA Government came to power, none of the militants have been allowed to take Nepal route to return. Sources said the Government has asked the SSB, which mans the border with Nepal in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to ensure that there was no illegal infiltration of former Kashmiri militants into India and then into Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said the Intelligence agencies of the Government had been monitoring movement of some of the militants, who had come back from Pakistan to ensure that they were not recycled into the militancy. However, they admitted that it was not possible for them to keep vigil on all of them. Simultaneously, sources said, the Government of India also wanted proper rehabilitation of the former militants so that they were not lured into the militancy again. But the problem with the State Government is that it can't extend benefits of Rehabilitation Policy to the militants returning from Nepal route as it didn't figure among four authorized routes to return. The authorized routes included Poonch-Rawlakote in Jammu region, Uri-Muzaffarabad in Kashmir, Wagah border in Amritsar district of Punjab and Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi. None of the militants have returned from this route so far. It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had recently stated in an official communiqué that the State Government wants the Centre to declare Nepal as fifth authorized route of Rehabilitation Policy so that benefits (of the Policy) could be extended to the militants returning from Pakistan and PoK.