Another militant returns home in Kashmir

Three days after footballer Majid Khan returned home from the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) ranks listening to his mother's pleas, another teenage militant in south Kashmir's Kulgam district on Monday heeded to his parents' call and returned home.

Reports said the 16-year-old, who had joined militancy on September 27 this year, surrendered before police following an appeal by his parents. Officials were tight-lipped about the identity of the boy and the militant outfit he was affiliated with.

"We can't disclose his identity but yes he has joined his family in Kulgam yesterday (Sunday). We are neither taking it as a surrender nor arresting him. Everyone (militant) is free to come back," Inspector General Police (IGP), Kashmir, Muneer Khan told reporters.

In a tweet, Jammu and Kashmir police said: "Responding to the appeal of parents, one more youth, who had joined militants returns home in South Kashmir."

Family of Ashiq Bhat, a resident of Shopian district, was on Doordarshan news on Saturday requesting their son to come back. His wife was reported to be pregnant. Some other distressed parents approached media houses to propagate their message.

The army and police have urged local militants to follow footsteps of Majid Khan and quit militancy.

Of late, to motivate militants to shun violence and return home, the police is promising safety and a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for those militants who return home.

The security agencies are setting up helplines to facilitate homecoming of local militants, who are willing to quit violence. In the last 13-years, Jammu and Kashmir government announced two rehabilitation policies for former militants.

In 2004, rehabilitation policy was announced for those militants active in the state while the second, which was launched in 2010, focused on militants from Kashmir living in Pakistan, who desired to return to the Valley.

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