J&K: Security experts mull attractive surrender policy

A Lashkar-e-Taiba terror module was busted in north Kashmir and 10 people, including four militants who were purportedly responsible for gunning down three boys at Baramulla on April 30, can be seen arrested in this dated PTI file photo.

As part of its efforts to bring local militants back into the national mainstream, security experts in Jammu and Kashmir have suggested changes in the new draft surrender policy to make it more attractive for the ultras willing to shun violence.

The draft policy titled “Reintegration Policy for the Misguided Youth” was prepared earlier this year by the National Security Council (NSC), an executive government agency tasked with advising the Prime Minister’s Office on matters of national security and strategic interest, primarily to prevent recruitment of Kashmiri youth into militancy.
The experts believe the primary focus of the policy needs to be on the rehabilitation front so that the youth who return to the mainstream live a “secure and happy life.” The suggestions have been given by the experts after draft of the policy was circulated among the security and intelligence agencies for their comments, suggestions, and feedback, earlier this year.
The draft policy entails amnesty from prosecution for local militants who surrender and if a surrendered militant gets a government job, he wouldn’t be disqualified because of his past. The policy also suggests subsidized education for the children of surrendered militants in an institution of their choice in J&K or other parts of the country.
After finalizing the changes, the draft would be discussed with J&K governor S P Malik before it is sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs and (NSC) for approval. A senior police officer, wishing anonymity, said the final policy would be implemented only after the new government takes over in New Delhi later this month. 
“Under the policy, the militant who gives up his arms would be referred to as a renouncer, who would be entitled to Rs 5-6 lakh as fixed deposit. He would also continue to get Rs 4000 monthly interest from the bank on the amount,” he said.
“After 10 years, the militant can get the deposit cashed out if CID accords him a good behavior certificate,” he added.
The first surrender policy in the state was introduced in 1995 when militancy was at its peak. It promised a fixed deposit of Rs 1.5 lakh, a monthly stipend of Rs 1,800 and some vocational training for the militants who surrender. 
In 2004, a new rehab policy was approved which was applicable to “known militants who surrender with weapons” and “dreaded militants even without weapons”. It also promised a fixed deposit of Rs 1.5 lakh, a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 and some vocational training.
In 2010, another policy was announced for Kashmiri militants who had gone to Pakistan occupied Kashmir for arms training between 1989 and 2009 and wanted to return.

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