8 Top LeT Commanders Offer To Return Home11 February 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: In a significant development, eight commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), operating in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) for past about one and a half decade, have responded to Rehabilitation Policy of the Government and asked their families to file applications on their behalf for return to homes in Doda and Kishtwar districts. As many as 265 militants of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts have been identified by police and security agencies, who were in Pakistan and PoK for past several years. While militants in other districts of the State had responded to Rehabilitation Policy of the State Government, approved by the Union Home Ministry, Doda belt, which once used to be a hub of militancy, hadnít responded to the Policy till yesterday. Official sources said during last two days, eight applications have been filed by the families of eight top Lashkar commanders, to avail benefits under the Rehabilitation Policy. Six applications have been filed in Kishtwar district and two in Doda district. Sources said all eight militants were top commanders of the LeT outfit, operating in PoK training camps. Till sometime back, a couple of them were Incharge of the training camps in Muzaffarabad. Majority of them had left Doda and Kishtwar more than one and a half decade back and since then were operating in PoK after completion of their training. They had imparted training to several other militants in PoK in handling of sophisticated arms and ammunition. Sources said the militants had spoken to their families on telephone from PoK and expressed their consent to return. This fact has been mentioned in their applications by the family members of militant commanders. Declining to reveal identity of the commanders on the ground that Pakistan Army and fellow militants could try to harm them, sources said, all of them were dreaded ultras and had been rated in 'Aí category for past quite sometime. According to sources, applications of the militants under the Rehabilitation Policy will go through the routine scrutiny before being sent to the State CID. They added that family members of all eight commanders appeared to have received telephonic calls from PoK about a week ago in which the militants had given their consent to return after which the families filed applications on their behalf before District SPs of Doda and Kishtwar. Sources said there were 265 militants of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban range in Pakistan and PoK and the authorities anticipated that nearly 100 of them could avail the benefits under the Policy to return. Rest were said to be very committed to the LeT outfit and it was highly unlikely that they would decide to return for surrender. As reported, the number of militants operating in Doda-Ramban range has already come down to 27 after three militant commanders were eliminated by Army and police at Khari, Banihal early this week. Recently, the number of applications under the Rehabilitation Policy had crossed 300. The applications are reviewed every week.