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Security forces aim for heart to eradicate militancy

Half-a-dozen families have appealed to their militant sons in emotional videos to give up militancy and come home.

Published: 25th November 2017 11:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2017 09:09 AM   |  A+A-

Militants in Kashmir: Majid Khan (right)

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: After security agencies turned to Gandhigiri to wean away radicalised youth from terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, at least two militants surrendered following appeals from their families. Following their return, half-a-dozen families have appealed to their militant sons in emotional videos to give up militancy and come home.

Top sources in security agencies said videos of the appeals are being made to go viral on social media as part of the strategy to make militants return.

“We are hopeful that the trend will continue and more local militants will return to their families,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police south Kashmir S P Pani told The Sunday Standard.

Footballer-turned-terrorist of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Majid Khan and local militant Naseer Ahmad, 16, both from South Kashmir, recently surrendered following the pleas from their families. Ahmad gave himself up five days after Majid in Kulgam district.

Following an expression of solidarity with Majid from former India football skipper Bhaichung Bhutia to J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and offering to train him has also sent a strong message of belongingness to the radicalised youth.

B.Com student and ace footballer Majid’s picture with an AK-47 rifle and an ammunition pouch had gone viral on social media after he joined the LeT. He had joined militancy two months after killing of a local militant, who was his close friend, in an encounter with security forces.

It was for first time that a local militant had surrendered on the appeal of his family. It was also the first time that a militant’s mother pleaded for him to return in a video message on social media.

The tactic of appeals by parents of militants was earlier used by the Army during counter-terror operations but was not successful.

Counter-terrorism expert Rituraj Mate said, “Prominent personalities from across the spectrum like top-notch sportspersons, filmstars and Nobel laureates should come forward to express solidarity with the likes of Majid and send across a message that the entire country is behind them if they shun violent path and join the mainstream.”

Bollywood stars such as Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar are very popular among J&K youth, Mate added.

Prodigal sons

Following their return of Majid and Naseer Ahmad, half-a-dozen families have appealed to their militant sons in emotional videos to give up militancy and come home. Top sources in security agencies said videos of the appeals are being made to go viral on social media as part of the strategy to make militants return. The tactic of appeals by parents of militants was earlier used by the Army during counter-terror operations but was not successful.

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