Many applications for return & rehab, few processed
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In 2010, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced amnesty for Kashmiri youths willing to return after they had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the early days of militancy. In the two years since, over 1,000 have applied for amnesty and rehabilitation but few have actually benefited from the policy.
Home secretary B R Sharma said 245 applications have been cleared but government sources unwilling to go on record said only 11 militants have been actually able to return under the scheme. The applications of the rest have either been delayed or not cleared at all.
More than 100 have returned this year alone, travelling via Nepal with their families with hopes of being rehabilitated.
Recently, two militants and their families were turned back from Kaman post by border troops on the Indian side. They had wanted to cross into Uri.
Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani told The Indian Express he does not have the exact count of militants who have benefited from the surrender policy. "I think the delay is from the Pakistani side. I will have to check on the actual number of people who have returned,'' he said.
Home secretary Sharma dismissed the figure of 11 being cited, saying the number is much higher but adding he does not have the actual figure either. He admitted, however, that of 1,100 applications received, 245 have been cleared.
In 2010, the Indian and Pakistani governments had agreed to facilitate the return of Kashmiri youths staying in PoK or other parts of Pakistan. Few of them are alone, with most having settled down inPoK, married and raised families. A few are being paid a small remuneration by the "Kashmir affairs" department of the Pakistani government.
Government sources said the return process is an involved one with the requests needing to be screened at various levels. The requests are scrutinised first by police, then forwarded to CID headquarters where they are examined again in consultation with Central agencies.
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