Police wean four Valley youth from militancy

Teams recover boys enroute to join militants, return them to families after counselling

Four youth were prevented from joining militant ranks in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday, as the J&K police embarked on a carrot and stick policy to tackle militancy by locals.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ganderbal, Khalil Ahmad Poswal said the police succeeded in bringing back two youth hailing from Batwina and Kurhama areas.

“They had left the home to join terrorism. Parents were unaware about their clandestine activities,” SSP Poswal said. In Budgam district, two teenagers went missing on March 14, allegedly on their way to join militants.

“As soon as this information was received, the police teams swung into action and traced both the boys in Tral area of Awantipora (in south Kashmir),” the police statement said.

According to the police, the teenagers were “influenced by the social media” to join the militant ranks. “They were instigated by Pakistan-based recruiting handlers through the social media handles,” the police said. The police counselled the boys and handed them over to their parents.

Meanwhile, SSP Poswal asked the parents to come forward and report any such activity of their wards “so that they are mainstreamed through concerted counselling by experts”.

The police have embarked on a new policy of carrot and stick for the local recruits. The families of the youth are being involved to wean them off the lure of militancy.

Senior police officials said the local recruits were being offered to surrender even during the live encounters. “Many times, the security forces waited for hours together to impress upon the trapped militant to surrender,” the police said.

“However, those who are motivating the youth to join militancy will not be spared,” the officer said.

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