January 2018 News

'Healing Touch': Centre Asks Jammu And Kashmir For New Surrender Policy

24 January 2018
Neeta Sharma

New Delhi: Centre has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to formulate a new surrender and rehabilitation policy to help youngsters who joined terrorism in recent times come back to the mainstream. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also advised the state to set up a high-level committee to review all stone pelting cases against students. Further instructions have been given to close cases of non-grievous nature against students and youth in the state by the centre. The Ministry's communication to the state says 'an opportunity should be provided for alternative path of peace and prosperity to Kashmiri youth who have joined militancy'. The announcement comes three months after the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma, as the union government's interlocutor. Sources say, it was on Mr Sharma's advice that the government had announced an amnesty scheme for the first time stone-throwers in the valley. Formulation of surrender and rehabilitation policy was another suggestion made by Mr Sharma soon after his appointment as the interlocutor. These suggestions have become part of what is now known as Mr Sharma's 'healing touch' outreach to the valley. According to the state police, more than 50 terrorists surrendered last year. 'A need was felt by the government as we feel there are many others who want to come back,' explains an officer. 'The policy will provide the youth with economic rehabilitation and suitable training to run their own business, enabling them to return to the mainstream and lead a dignified life,' a senior ministry official told NDTV. The ministry has also advised the state government to constitute a high-level committee, headed by an officer in the rank of Director General of Police or Additional Director General, to review remaining cases of stone pelting against students and youth. 'Centre is of the view that stone pelting cases of non-grievous nature against students and youth should be closed or withdrawn so that they get a chance to focus on their study and pursue their career without any psychological pressure,' adds an officer posted with the unit which deals with Jammu and Kashmir. The fresh initiative comes within two months of the Jammu and Kashmir government announcing an amnesty scheme for students and youth who were involved in incidents of stone pelting for the first time. Comments Under the scheme, so far about 3,685 students and youth have got relief while more than 9,000 youngsters are likely to be covered under it. According to ministry the scheme is aimed at giving students and youth another chance to rebuild their career without any stress of being labelled as criminals for the rest of their lives.