So far 4 youth made to leave militancy: SP Vaid
To avoid eruption of “law and order problem” again in Kashmir as seen after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, J&K Police has started “reach out” to the families of youth, who have joined militancy recently.
In an exclusive interview with Greater Kashmir, Special Director General of Police for Law and Order and Coordination, SP Vaid said: “JK Police doesn’t want to kill local militants as Kashmir has seen enough of bloodbath and it is time to give peace a chance.”
Vaid said that past over four months were very challenging for the Police force. “Situation was very tough. But thank God, Kashmir is limping back to normalcy. From 50 incidents of stone pelting a day, there is a zero incident of stone pelting now, which is an indication of normalcy,” Vaid said, adding, as of now police receives no reports of any stone pelting incident from any part of Kashmir.
“Everything is going smoothly and credit goes to people,” he said. “Transport plies normally on roads and people are doing their business smoothly, which is really a good sign.”
Asked whether any strategy was framed by the police in the wake of situation that emerged post Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8, the Special DGP said they have already started to work on a strategy ‘how to avoid past-over four month like situation again’. “We have already started reaching out to the families of local youth who have picked up guns in the recent past. Our effort is to bring them back and to allow them to live a normal life. There has been enough of bloodbath. It’s time to give peace a chance,” he said.
Vaid said that police don’t want to kill local militants. “We have so far succeeded in persuading four youth, who had picked up arms. Two are from Sopore and two hail from South Kashmir districts. The process is on and we hope we will achieve success to a large extent,” he said.
Asked what if a local militant is caught in an encounter, the Special DGP said: “Our first choice will be ask them to surrender and offer them a chance to live a peaceful life.”
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has recently directed forces “to spare local militants in encounters.”
As per the official figures, 179 militants were active before the unrest. The number is between 275 and 300 now. Police sources reveal that 51 local youth have joined militant ranks in the past over four months of unrest. “Of the total number of militants active, 115 are local,” said a official.
To a query, how police would deal with over 9000 people, majority of them youth, arrested in the past 140 days, the special DGP said that youth, who indulged in stone pelting, are being frequently counselled. “We don’t have any personal grudge against them. We want them to live a normal life. Their counselling is on,” he said. Asked whether any sort of general amnesty was in the offing for these youth, he said that it was for the government to decide on any sort of amnesty.
In the ongoing unrest, 97 people including two cops were killed while as 15,000 people sustained injuries of which more than 1,000 were hit in their eyes with pellets leaving dozens without vision since July 9.