J&K Police to be deployed on Nepal border to help ex-militants

FP

Following the controversy over the arrest of alleged militant Syed Liyaqat Ali Shah, the government is set to deploy Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel along with the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on the Indo-Nepal border to streamline the surrender of former militants.

While four entry points — in Poonch, Uri, Wagah and IGI Airport, New Delhi — had earlier been identified for former militants who wanted to cross over from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and surrender as part of the J&K government's rehabilitation policy, the government is now set to make the Nepal border route "official".

So far, nearly 241 former militants are reported to have used the Nepal route to return to the Valley.

"This route has seen good results and helped many former militants return home," said a senior home ministry official.

Shah had also sought to cross over to India through the Nepal border last week. While the Delhi Police arrested Shah on charges of planning terrorist attacks in the city, the J&K government has said he is a former militant who was on his way to the Valley with his family, after registering under its rehabilitation policy.

The union home ministry is now planning to frame standard operating procedures (SOP) for the surrender of former militants, after consulting the J&K, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi governments.

The issue is also likely to be discussed at the chief ministers' internal security meeting in New Delhi on April 15.

A high-level meeting chaired by union home secretary R K Singh on Monday mooted a proposal to deploy the J&K Police and SSB personnel at 15 points along the border which have been used by former militants in the past. The J&K Police will be responsible for escorting the former militants to Kashmir.

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