To bring local militants back to mainstream, J&K cops meet their kin

Jammu, Dec 11: In an effort to bring local militants back to the mainstream, the Jammu and Kashmir Police has launched “Operation Outreach” under which they meet the kin of such youths and motivate the families to make them leave militancy.
Under the operation, which began earlier this month from three South Kashmir districts of Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam, currently the epicentre of the terrorism in the state, the J&K police has met with the kin of over 100 militants so far.
“We have begun meeting the families and kin of the militants. We will reach out to other districts also and hold meetings with families of the militants,” Director General of Police (DGP) J&K, S P Vaid here aid.
The outreach programme was launched following Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks “only killing terrorists won’t wipe out militancy, a humane approach is needed”, police officials said.
Four militants have so far shunned guns and returned to their homes under the operation, the DGP said.
“We will reach out to the kin and families of all the local terrorists in the Kashmir valley,” Vaid said.
“So far police have held meeting with families and kin of over 100 local terrorists in South Kashmir. There are positive responses from the families in the meetings.”
In Shopian, DIG (South Kashmir) and the Senior Superintendent of Police held meeting with families of 35 militants and they received very good response, he said.
Similarly, the Awantipora SSP held meeting with the families of militants where the officer received very good response, Vaid said.
“They (police) are doing very good job. It (the outreach programme) is working very well,” the DGP said.
The Kashmir Valley has 10 districts and six districts including Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama (South Kashmir), Budgam (Central Kashmir), Kupwara and Handwara (North Kashmir) are infested with militancy and militants.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had on November 29 said militancy cannot be wiped out just by killing militants and a more “humane approach” was needed to tackle the problem.
“You have to eliminate militancy in Kashmir. But it cannot be done by killing militants alone,” the PDP leader had said while addressing the attestation-cum-passing out parade of 947 recruits at the Police Training School in Kathua.
Advocating a “soft” approach in dealing with extremism in the state, the CM had referred to the government’s recent decision to revoke cases against first-time stone-pelters in the Valley.
“The police have to engage in parenting and counselling of these children. I had invited pellet victims to my home recently. I was surprised to know that most of them were minors (14, 15 or 16 years of age),” she said.