‘Take no prisoners’ seemingly has remained the only constant in Kashmir’s counter-insurgency for so many years. Perhaps, that is the precise reason, why militants do not surrender, any more. There have not been too many militant surrenders for many years now.
But the situation is forcing a course correction. The reason is “the number of new militants being created is directly proportional to the militants killed.” So killing is not an option. That is what the policy makers in the government have started understanding fully.
Informed sources said that to investigate why militants prefer fighting over surrender, the home ministry had sent a high level team of experts to investigate this phenomenon. They had met the former militants, the surrendered militants, the militants in jails and the families of the militants.
“Though the exact findings are not known but what was clearly being talked about is that surrender has been projected as an insulting intervention and the successive governments have failed in keeping their word on the policies they announced,” one well-placed official source said. “This has led to abusing the intervention of surrender and that is where the crisis is.”
The team, also having some patronage from the National Security Commission, has been told by the state government that the case of families who had returned from various places of Pakistan is a case in point. Most of them are in dire straits and are keen to return back if they are given a chance. Already, one such couple was intercepted on LoC and brought back, a few years ago.
Even after surrender these boys are excluded from the society and they are being effectively denied everything from the right to apply for a job in the government to avail a passport to fly aboard for labour or job.
“We are hopeful that this investigation will lead to the reconstitution of a new policy that will have focus on reintegration of the militants with the society they live in,” the official sources said. “This is still being discussed and debated, however.”