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In a 'Healing Touch' Ahead of Republic Day, MHA Asks J&K Govt to Form Surrender and Rehabilitation Policy for Militants

(Image for representation only)

(Image for representation only)

The announcement comes three months after the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma, as the union government's interlocutor.

New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday asked the J&K government to "formulate new surrender and rehabilitation policy", and provide surrendered militants "with economic rehabilitation enabling them to return to mainstream".

The announcement comes three months after the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma, as the union government's interlocutor. Sources say, it was on 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 Sharma soon after his appointment as the interlocutor.

These suggestions have become part of what is now known as Sharma's "healing touch" outreach to the valley.

The state police force have claimed that over 50 militants surrendered before it last year. The most talked about surrender was that of local footballer Majid Khan, who joined Lashkar-e-Toiba and picked up the gun in November last year, only to shun it following a successful social media campaign appealing for his return.

The MHA has asked the state government not just to formulate a rehabilitation scheme but also to come up with an economic package for the surrendered militants.

As News18 had reported earlier, throughout 2017, during which over 200 militants were killed by security forces in 'Operation All Out', the state was operating without an active surrender policy. Senior officers whom News18 contacted for the story admitted that the war against militancy in Kashmir was going on without an active surrender policy.

In fact, the last time J&K came up with a surrender policy, was back in 2004.

The MHA note went on to state that the surrender and rehabilitation policy was an initiative of the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had earlier, on November 23 last year, announced the amnesty scheme for first-time stone throwers against security forces. Around 4000 youths were let off by the police under this scheme.

The ministry has now asked the state government to "constitute high level committee headed by DG/ADG rank officer to review remaining cases of stone pelting against students/youth. MHA is of the view that non-grievous stone pelting cases should be closed so they get chance to focus on career".

Home Ministry also asked the state government to constitute an advisory board to look into the grievances of Kashmiri Pandits, though it did not mention the community by name.

"To look into the grievances of Kashmiri migrants that includes Kashmiri migrants, Jammu migrants, displaced people of PoJK, Chhamb & West Pakistan refugees the J&K govt has been advised to immediately constitute an advisory board," read a statement from MHA.

It also asked the state government to revamp Jagti and Talwara camps built for Kashmiri Pandits and members of other communities who fled the valley fearing for their lives at the peak of militancy in late 80s and early 90s.