MHA wants to ease norms for ex-ultras

Move to remove hurdles for youth who crossed LoC for arms training in 1990s

MHA wants to ease norms for ex-ultras

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reportedly asked security agencies to do away with stringent conditions that creates hurdles for youth who had crossed the Line of Control for arms training in the 1990s and now want to return.

The MHA directive comes in the backdrop of the controversy due to the arrest of alleged Hizbul Mujahideen militant Liyaqat Ali Shah by the Delhi Police early this year.
Sources told Deccan Herald that hundreds of former militants are ready to return from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

“The controversial arrest of Liyaqat Shah of Kupwara spotted loopholes in the existing arrangement of the rehabilitation policy. Security agencies have been asked to ensure that militants who want to shun violence and return home from PoK reach their homes without any hiccups,” they said.

Sources added that the Sashastra Seema Bal and the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Police have been asked by the MHA to ensure coordination while dealing with such cases.
“After the Shah controversy, police personnel posted in New Delhi are actively facilitating the return of former militants from the PoK,” they said.

The 45-year-old Shah was arrested by the special cell of the Delhi Police on March 20 and they claimed to have foiled a “fidayeen” (suicide) attack in the national capital ahead of Holi.

However, the J&K Police insisted that he was one of those who had ex-filtrated in the 1990s and returned to India to surrender under the state’s rehabilitation policy.
A senior police officer said they have inputs that most of the youth who have shunned violence, but are stuck in POK, want to return.

“There is unanimity at the Centre and state level that procedure in vogue for return of youth from PoK is cumbersome and risky,” sources said and disclosed that a senior police officer posted in New Delhi is assisting security agencies in identifying Kashmiri youth who are using the Nepal route.

J&K Director-General of Police Ashok Prasad said the MHA is actively working on certain things about the return of former militants.

“Certain issues relating to them are being discussed by the MHA seriously,” he added.
Data available with the J&K Police suggest that around 264 former militants have returned via Nepal till April 10 under the rehabilitation policy.

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