November 2017 News

New Surrender Policy To Focus On Education, Skill Development Of Militants

26 November 2017
Rising Kashmir
Javid Ahmad

Srinagar: The new surrender policy will recommend to government the rehabilitation of local militants and focus on their education and skill development. State government is planning to propose a new surrender policy to Union Home Ministry (MHA) for approval to bring back local youth in mainstream who have picked up gun. Alongside continuing the operation 'All Out' against militants the government forces are trying to adopt a 'soft approach towards local militants.' This year over 190 militants have been killed so far. The government is planning to work out a new surrender policy to 'attract surrendered militants back into the mainstream' and has sought suggestions from police for drafting the surrender policy to focus on rehabilitation of militants. Maintaining that rehabilitation of surrendered militants was 'important', Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan said that focus would be to bring back youth who have been 'radicalised' into militancy. 'Focus would be the youth who have been radicalised and have been handed over arms at very young age, when one can't differentiate between right and wrong. To bring back youth from militancy is important. After bringing them back, the method of rehabilitating them is important,' Khan told Rising Kashmir. Police is looking to submit its recommendations in line with the 'changing dynamics of militancy.' The dynamics of militancy has taken a complete change in Kashmir with educated youth and even those with professional degrees having joined militant ranks especially in south Kashmir which emerged as hot-bed of militants. 'In 90s almost 90 percent of those who would join militants were uneducated. But now the trend is reverse as 90 percent militants are educated. So, we have to think about the ways as to how to rehabilitate those educated militants,' Khan said. 'If some youth gives up militancy and wants to pursue education, what help he could be provided... similarly if a youth returns home from militancy and keeps interest in skill development and is given skill training after that what means of livelihood he could be given.' 'The police recommendations would focus on education, skill development and in certain cases monetary assistance to those local militants who give up arms. We are taking on board several stakeholders to make our recommendations,' IGP Kashmir said, adding that 'police was trying to work out recommendation shortly.' In recent past, Chief Minster Mehbooba Mufti had said that 'killing militants was easy' but not ' curbing militancy.' 'If militancy has to be wiped out from Kashmir, then forces will have to play a positive role,' she had said. CM had even said that policemen who get a local militant to surrender before or after the encounter will be doubly rewarded. 'Police's difference should never be brushed. Wherever chance is found before or after the encounter, if our local militant gets ready to surrender whatever prize you get for that, I will give you the double reward if militant wants to come back alive. We should put our efforts,' Mehbooba had said. Army, police and CRPF have continuously been appealing local militants to lay down arms and come back and they would not be dealt with tough measure but every possible help would be provided for rehab. At least two militants have willingly given up militancy recently and many families have made passionate video-appeals on social media to their militant sons to return home. The trend was set by a mother of ace footballer of Anantnag, who joined Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in south Kashmir but returned back days after her mother's heart-wrenching video-appeal went viral on social media. This would be the third surrender policy to be submitted to the home ministry for approval. Earlier, surrender policies were passed in 2004 and 2010. Pertinently, the objective of 2004 'rehabilitation Policy' offered facility to those militants of state who undergo a change of heart and eschew the path of violence and who also accept the integrity of India and Indian Constitution to encourage them join the mainstream and lead a normal life and contribute towards prosperity and progress of the State as well as the Nation. The policy offered a grant of Rs. 1.50 lakh to be kept in the shape of an FDR in a bank in the name of surrenderee for a period of three years which was to be drawn by him only on completion of three year period and subject to good behaviour and a monthly stipend of rupees 2000 for three years after the surrender. It also offered incentives from rupees 15000 to high 25000 for weapons laid down by militants. Based on the interest of surrenderee, the policy also offered vocational cost-free training for self- employment by the Government. While as 2010 rehabilitation policy was meant for return of militants, who had crossed over to Pakistan for arms training between 1-1-1989 and 31-12-2009 but have given up insurgent activities due to a change of heart and are willing to return, to the state.