To lure Kashmiri freedom fighters, India launches a new scheme

To lure Kashmiri freedom fighters, India launches a new scheme

New Delhi: By early March, a new surrender and rehabilitation policy, the first in 14 years, will be launched in Kashmir .

The policy, which may be called 'Reintegration Scheme', may reward family members or friends of surrendered militants who help get them back into the mainstream.

Several senior officers working on the draft policy shared details of the scheme with News18.

The joint effort by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the three security agencies in the Valley — J&K Police, Army and the CRPF — will be the most ambitious outreach program to get active militants back into the society.

According to the draft, the scheme will reward those who help bring the militants back, ensure the protection of the surrendered militants and their families, ensure that the surrendered militants don't suffer a prolonged trial, and identify jobs for them.

"We will not call it a ‘surrender’ scheme because it carries a negative connotation. There are a few alternative names we are considering, one of which is ‘Reintegration Scheme’," a senior police officer said.

"We are working on a mechanism to reward those who bring back a militant financially and by giving them citations. The idea is to create public goodwill for those who want militancy in the Valley to end, to stop the recruitment of militants into these terror groups," the officer added.

This aspect of the scheme has been inspired from the case of Majid Khan, who was part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and surrendered to security forces. Khan's was a high profile surrender. The aspiring footballer, who joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba and picked up the gun in November, shunned militancy following a successful social media campaign appealing for his return.

Following his surrender, the LeT also issued a statement saying it had "allowed" Khan to return for the larger good, to tend to his ailing parents.

But checks and balances will be put in place to prevent abuse of the policy. A senior Home Ministry officer said they had received reports of abuse of a similar policy in Naxal-affected Bastar in Chhattisgarh.