2600 Kashmiris Crossed LoC In 20 Yrs

2600 Kashmiris Crossed LoC In 20 Yrs

2 May 2012
Rising Kashmir
Wasim Khalid

Srinagar: At least 2600 Kashmiris crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in past 20 years to receive arms training and 200 of them are presently active militants and are associated with different militant outfits while the rest have married and are no longer considered as threat, senior police officials said. Quoting from the figures collected by them, police officials involved in counter insurgency operations in Kashmir said a total of 2600 Kashmiri crossed LoC in past 20 years for receiving arms training. “200 of them are at present active militants and are associated with different militant outfits. Approximately 86 of them are affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen while 100 others were working with Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK). The remaining are associated with smaller militant groups,” they said. They said the remaining 2400 persons have married and passed the age, where they can be regarded as threat. “All of them are in their 40s. They have families and are engaged in various professions in Pakistan. Hardly anybody among them would be lured by any ideology to pick up the gun,” said the police officials adding they have gathered information regarding active militants present in PaK through their sources. Referring to the recent attempts to plug Nepal route to ‘prevent’ Kashmiri militants from entering India via Nepal, police officials said the decision was pushed by people having “vested interests”. “There was nothing dangerous as was projected by some agencies regarding infiltration of Kashmiri militants through Nepal route”. Earlier, New Delhi had decided to deploy J&K police men along with SSB, a para-military force guarding the Indo-Nepal border to spot the Kashmiri youth entering India through Nepal border. “All the people (Kashmiris), who have returned to State via Nepal border have surrendered before the authorities. In 2011, more than 50 persons, who had crossed LoC in early 1990s returned to Kashmir with their families. We booked them and they were later released by the court. They are now living normal lives with their families,” police officials said. They said this year 17 persons have returned to Kashmir from PaK after 22 years. In rare cases, the officials said, militants were using Nepal route to infiltrate into Kashmir. They said authorities should facilitate return of all those Kashmiris, who had travelled across the LoC and are now willing to return, to live a normal life. Another police official, posted in Srinagar said, “We keep monitoring their activities. So far we have not spotted anybody involved in subversive activity”. According to reports, the Home department has received 600 applications from Kashmiris, presently putting up in PaK, who want to return to Valley. However, only 100 applications have been cleared so far. It may be recalled that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has already announced rehabilitation policy to ensure smooth return of Kashmiris stuck across the LoC, who are willing to return to Valley and live a peaceful life.