The much-talked about surrender policy for youths who had exfiltrated from Jammu and Kashmir between 1989 and 2009 for arms training and have a change of heart now was cleared on Monday by the state cabinet.
Under the policy, which got its nod from the state cabinet led by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, youths who had crossed over to Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) will be eligible for the scheme. The policy had received nod from by Union home ministry also after consultation with the army and central security agencies, official sources said.
The J&K CM was of the view that once the policy comes into effect, new channel would be opened up enabling these youths to resume their normal life after proper precautions were taken. "What is proposed is that for those who are desirous of returning without arms and resuming some form of normal life, we will open channels for them so that they can be able to come back," Abdullah had said.
Under the policy, parents of the youths who had crossed over to Pakistan or PoK can approach the superintendent of police of their district certifying that their child wanted to return and live a normal life.
The policy, which was discussed threadbare with Union home ministry, is expected to put an end to illegal entry of such youths who were entering India through Nepal, Bangladesh or the Wagah border using fake documents and coming to Kashmir. These parents will receive orders from the SP only after the case was scrutinised by the state Crime Investigation Department in consultation with the central security agencies, the sources said.
Under the policy, the youth will be kept in a camp where they would be monitored and imparted training so that they could earn their livelihood, the sources said. In the meantime, if someone arrived with their wife and children, they would also be provided with emergency certificate.
"There will be a cooling off period, some counselling, rehabilitation and certain amount of interface between the security forces and them to be assured that they are not being planted and they are actually people who are coming back for resumption of normal life. That is the broad parameters of the policy," a senior official said.
Asked what could be the numbers of such people, the official said, "The numbers run into thousands but I am not, even for a moment, suggesting that all are going to come knocking on our door on the first day. It may really be a very small trickle that seeks to take advantage of this but the fact is that people are coming."