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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Ready to pardon militants if they surrender: Indian army’s top commander in Kashmir

The Army on Monday appealed to the local youth who have joined militant ranks to surrender, saying the force believes in giving a second chance and the ultras will be welcomed back with open arms if they accept their mistake.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C) of the Army’s Udhampur-based Northern Command, Lt General Y K Joshi made the remarks at a function at Manasbal Lake Park in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

The Army commander said over the last few months, it has been observed that the families of young people — who have joined the militant ranks — are pleading with them to leave gun culture and cycle of violence, and come back to their families.

“It is heartbreaking to see this happening. We make all-out efforts to ensure that we seek surrenders and facilitate surrenders even when we are in the midst of intense operations. We want the youth to come back to the mainstream and we will always welcome them with open arms,” he said.

The GoC-in-C said the Army and the civil administration will facilitate not only their surrender but also ensure that they are well integrated back into the mainstream.

“The Indian Army is there to give a second chance to any youth who accepts his mistakes and wants to surrender and come back to the mainstream. We, the uniformed forces, are here to save lives and not to take lives. The system, the entire administration, will facilitate not only their surrender but also ensure that they are well integrated back into the mainstream,” he said.

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