Nothing wrong in surrender policy: P Chidambaram
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Jammu, Feb 17: Terming the proposed surrender policy as an acceptable idea, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram Wednesday said that he has asked the state government to prepare a draft on the matter so that a rehabilitation scheme can be given shape taking into consideration all the pros and cons.
Chidambaram was in the winter capital to review the State’s security situation. He attended a meeting of Unified Headquarters, an apex control and coordination grid of the security forces and intelligence agencies, which supervises anti-militancy operations in the state.
Addressing a press conference, immediately after the UHq meeting, the home minister said that the state government is working on the rehabilitation scheme to facilitate return of the youth, who had gone to the other side of LoC for arms training and were now willing to shun the path of violence and return to their homes. “The scheme has to be worked out and I have requested the state government to finalize a draft as early as possible”, he said.
Asserting that the idea to facilitate the return of youth from PaK was acceptable, the home minister said, “We must facilitate youth who may have crossed over to PaK so that they can return to mainstream and unite with their families if they renounce militancy”. “The idea is acceptable and we accepted it”, he added.
He said the union home ministry has identified the elements of the scheme like facilitating travel back to the state, de-briefing, rehabilitation and the integration with the community. “This will take time and we are working on the scheme patiently and carefully”.
In response to a query about the possible flaws of the policy, Chidambaram said that the surrendered militants in past have been adjusted in the paramilitary forces and there was nothing to panic at this stage. In 1997-98, CRPF recruited a whole battalion of militants who came back to join the mainstream, followed by recruitment of 450 surrendered militants by BSF, he said adding that the same policy was being adopted in North East and other areas inflicted by insurgency.
“We allowed North East insurgents, who gave up violence and returned back, and many of them are serving in local police”, the minister said adding, “In Manipur we have done the same thing a couple of months ago”.
There is nothing new in the policy, he said adding that the young boys who took up arms, crossed over to PaK and now want to give up militancy and become law abiding citizens must be given a chance to reform. “There is nothing wrong in facilitating their return”, the minister said while assuring that the policy will be drafted carefully and very thoroughly.
AMNESTY TO SIKH YOUTH
When his attention was drawn on the persistent demand by some Sikh organizations regarding amnesty to Sikh youth, the minister said, “We are only talking about the youth from Jammu and Kashmir and have not applied mind on the aspect of return of Sikh youth”.
UNITY IN CONGRESS
In reply to a question, the minister refuted the reports that there was any dissent in Congress party over the proposed surrender policy. “Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has spoken to me and raised some apprehensions, which he wanted to be kept in mind while drafting the policy”, he said adding, “I have promised him that all such points will be considered”.
MILITANCY ON RISE
The union home minister said that though normalcy was returning to the state of Jammu and Kashmir there was a rise in militancy related incidents.
In the last 45 days of this calendar year there were 65 militancy related incidents in which 7 civilians, 24 militants. 9 security personnel, including four cops, 4 army personnel and 1 BSF, were killed.
He, however, said that the security forces were doing “commendable job and were gradually gaining upper hand over the militants”.
In the Jammu region and especially in Pir Panchal areas there is a great degree of normalcy. The security forces, he said, have acted over “our advice and they are dealing with the situation with great tactics and wisdom”. Even if a militant escapes in one case, he will be picked up at the next opportunity, the minister said while expressing satisfaction over “the improvement in situation”.
“We have emphasized the policy of zero tolerance for human rights violations by security forces”, the minister said while claiming that the recent arrest of a trooper and suspension of an officer was a “good example that we will not tolerate any excesses by the forces which will continue to zero tolerance of human rights violations”.
Chidambaram said that after Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah brought the matter to his notice, he promised to identify the accused security personnel within 48 hours and the promise was fulfilled accordingly. “The accused BSF personnel was suspended and handed over to the state police. The Commandant has also been suspended. It is now up to the investigating agency to find out the responsible”, he added.
Chidambaram said that during the two hours long UHq meeting and the subsequent meeting with the administrative secretaries of the state government, he discussed the security related part of PMRP also. He said issues of construction of tenements, creation of jobs, vacation of the buildings by the security forces etc came up for discussion. “There has undoubtedly been progress on these matters”, he added.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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