Over 100 youths return home from PoK

The youths had gone to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for arms training during the last two decades.

Srinagar: More than 100 youths, who had gone to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for arms training during the last two decades, have quietly returned home following the announcement of rehabilitation policy for them by the Jammu and Kashmir government.

According to a senior intelligence official, over 100 youths have returned to their homes since the rehabilitation policy was announced by the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government in November 2010, which was also approved by the Centre.

The official said around 1300 youths, through various channels, had expressed their desire to shun the path of violence and return to Kashmir in order to lead a normal life.

Out of these, 109 youths have come home from different routes and the officials did not want to divulge any details as their return has been kept a low profile affair in view of threat perception to their lives.

However, well-placed sources said the most preferred route taken by the youths to return home was via Nepal.

"They fly to Nepal on a Pakistani passport and then travel as Indian citizens back home as Indians need not carry passport for travel to and fro Nepal," the sources said.

They said some of the youth have also come back from the same route they had used to cross over the Line of Control (LoC) to PoK.

Upon their return, it has been made mandatory for these former militants to report to the nearest police station so that due course of law is followed, officials said.


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