Srinagar: The J & Kashmir Police for the first time ever approached the families of 30 active militants present in the south Kashmir’s Shopian region, urging them to speak to their militant sons who are drifting towards the wrong path asking them to return and join the mainstream.
“We are in touch with the militant families. It is a routine process. We called them for a joint meeting with top officials yesterday and families of at least 30 active militants attended the interaction,” SP Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, Shopian, told the New Indian Express.
This was also the first time that the police had invited the militant families to have interaction with the top police officials. The Police, army and the paramilitary officials have been reiterating urging the youth turned militants to give up their guns and join the mainstream.
Recalling the interaction with the families SP said it was a very emotional communication since all of them have been going through a very traumatizing situation, fearing for their militant son’s life.
He said, “They reposed faith and trust in police because they all want their family members back with them. They all shared their views openly with each other and with the officials. Every family shared the circumstances in which their loved ones left their homes and joined the militant ranks.”
The Police had assured the militant families that they are reaching out to them in order to help their sons and that a proper care would be taken of their sons rehabilitation.
According to the records, nearly 90 youths have joined the militancy this year as compared to 88
youth last year.
When asked whether the Police ensures the safety of these militants and return to mainstream SP said, “We assured the families that doors to the mainstream are open to the misguided youth and every care will be taken for their dignified rehabilitation if they shun the path of violence and join mainstream”.
“We told them that they should continue their efforts to woo back their children from the militancy. We also told them that they should help the administration in bringing their wards back to the mainstream,” he said.
SP Dinkar was positive about the extra efforts the team is taking up for the local youths who have joined the militancy, he said, “We are hopeful that our efforts would help in bringing back militant youth to the mainstream. During yesterday’s interaction, some families using the social media platform made compassionate appeals to their militant sons to give up militancy and join family”.
As many as four youths including footballer-turned-militant Majid Khan have returned to their families giving up the militancy after their families have appealed them to give up the wrong path.
SP Dinkar said the police have previously arrested few militants in the Valley this year.
“We are exercising restraint during the encounters to allow the local militants to surrender. There is a lot of difference in our approach from what used to be in the past,” he said.
When asked on whether the Police would take an extreme step of taking the militant family members to the encounter site to urge the militants to give up their weapons, SP Dinakr replied, “It depends on the situation and safety of the people. During the gunfight, it is difficult to take the civilians there. However, if the situation demands, we would do it.”
He further added, “We are hopeful that more youth would give up militancy and return to their homes. After the positive response of our interaction with militant families, we would be holding more such interactions so that the families can counsel their wards to give up guns and return to mainstream and have a secure and safe future.”