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Return Policy for militants in Jammu and Kashmir

Topics Covered:

  1. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  2. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges.

 

Return Policy for militants in Jammu and Kashmir

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Key features of the policy, policies on rehabilitation.
  • For Mains: Significance, the need and concerns associated with the policy, need for renewed focus on socio- economic reintegration of ex- militants.

 

Context: The Jammu and Kashmir government is considering a new policy to encourage militants from the state to give up arms. The policy draft “is presently at the pre-SAC stage” and is subject to clearance by the state Home Department and the chief secretary.

The proposed scheme is a revised version of earlier initiatives, but with a fresh focus on socio-economic re-integration.

 

Highlights of the new policy:

  • In order to encourage militants to join the mainstream, the policy provides for a monthly stipend of Rs 6,000 for those who surrender. However, this initiative will not cover militants found to have been involved in “heinous crimes”.
  • Jobs and reformative measures are also part of the new reintegration policy draft.

 

Significance:

  • There is need for rehabilitation through a two-pronged approach including reformative measures and opportunities of livelihood. It is essential for the government to show its will to reach out to alienated youth.
  • The successful implementation of a surrender policy is of utmost importance in Jammu and Kashmir as there are a large number of surrendered or released militants. The successful rehabilitation of one hardcore surrendered or released militant will motivate others to follow suit.

 

Previous approaches:

An earlier policy from 2010 focused on ensuring the return of former militants from the state who had taken up arms between January 1989 and December 2009 but later gave up insurgent activities “due to a change of heart and are willing, to return to the state”.

In 2004, a “rehabilitation policy” implemented by the then Peoples Democratic Party government sought to provide “facility to those terrorists who undergo a change of heart and eschew the path of violence and who also accept the integrity of India and Indian Constitution to encourage them to join the mainstream and lead a normal life”. This policy had laid out provisions to provide vocational training for surrendered militants who wished to pursue a trade, and a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 for the first three years.

 

Sources: livemint.