In a bid to convince Kashmiri youth, who have recently joined Valley-based militant groups, to give up arms, the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police said they need not come to police stations to surrender but can “simply join their families’’ under the “no case no apprehension policy”.
Police maintain the exercise of surrender will take place in front of the families.
The policy, which for now sounds more like an appeal, is for militants who have not participated in any attacks or active militant operations against security forces in Kashmir. But the lines have only been drawn for those who don’t have any criminal cases registered against them and “are not involved in any heinous acts”. The surrender policy is just for local youth.
The move comes in the backdrop of a research scholar of Aligarh Muslim University joining the Hizbul Mujahideen.
“Police have appealed to local youth to give up arms and in return neither will they be apprehended nor will any cases be lodged against them,” a senior J&K police official told HT.
The official said “developments” in the first week of 2018, which signalled a worrying situation for the security forces posted in the state, prompted authorities to make the appeal.
Munir Ahmed Khan, additional director general of police, told HT, “The youth can return to their families and we will do whatever talking we have to do. If a militant who surrenders has a case under section 302 (murder) against him or is involved in serious cases, he will have to face the law. This should be clear.”
DGP SP Vaid told HT, “The move is aimed at preventing new recruits from indulging in violence before it is too late. Their parents are helping us bring them back into the mainstream.”
While joining a militant outfit can immediately attract sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, police for now seem to have suggested that no charges will be filed against youth joining militant ranks. Officials of the ministry of home affairs maintained that the state government is yet to consult the ministry over the issue but added that “state authorities can independently take decisions when it comes to law and order”.
“Both the state and central government have introduced a number of means through which the youth who have joined militancy can return back to the mainstream,” a senior MHA official said.