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J&K top brass discuss revival of surrender policy for militants in Unified Command meet

“Emphasis was laid on neutralising foreign terrorists while trying to persuade local youth to join mainstream,” a source privy to the Unified Command meeting said.

[REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE] File photo of Indian Army deployment in Ganderbal

[REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE] File photo of Indian Army deployment in Ganderbal (Photo Credits: PTI)

A new surrender policy may be on the anvil in Jammu and Kashmir to wean away local youngsters from militancy and nudge them towards the mainstream. This was the key focus of the Unified Command meeting chaired by Lt Governor GC Murmu on Thursday.

The decision to revive ‘surrender policy’ was taken days after the union territory administration launched a scheme to provide scholarship to the children of slain militants.

A source privy to the meet said, “Emphasis was laid on neutralising foreign terrorists while trying to persuade local youth to join mainstream,” adding, “So far there has not been much success in surrender during encounters but the emphasis has been laid that the real target is foreign terrorists. Broad discussions were made to engage youth feeling alienated into the mainstream.”

On Thursday, a crucial meeting of the top brass of security agencies operating in Jammu and Kashmir was held in the winter capital of Jammu. This meeting was called to discuss recently unearthed intelligence about terrorists in launching pads in PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) regrouping along the Line of Control (LoC). This meeting was attended by the IG police of the J&K zone along with top officials of the Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and intelligence agencies.

Construction of community bunkers was also discussed during this meet.

According to a list prepared by intelligence agencies, 428 terrorists are on standby at launching pads across the LoC in PoK. The build-up by terrorists on the other side of the International Border (IB) seems to be a desperate attempt to fill in their depleting cadres in Kashmir.

Intelligence inputs also reveal that Keran, Tangdhar and Machhal in the Kashmir valley as well as Poonch, Bhimber Gali and Krishna Ghati in Jammu are sectors likely to be the target of infiltration attempts. However, Domail in Dras sector has emerged as a new launchpad for these activities.

So far, 125 militants have been gunned down in Kashmir this year. A spurt in infiltration, however, cannot be ruled out owing to the India-China standoff in eastern Ladakh. “With the army focused on the LAC, Pakistan could take advantage of the situation by spiking up infiltration,” a source said.

It is no secret that Pakistan has been constantly shelling areas on the Indian side of the border now for weeks.

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