Police `spotters` along Indo-Nepal border

Police `spotters` better known as `Concealed Anti-Terrorists` will soon be deployed along the Indo-Nepal border.

Srinagar/New Delhi: Police `spotters` better known as `Concealed Anti-Terrorists` will soon be deployed along the Indo-Nepal border to check misuse of the Nepal route used by Kashmiri militants to re-enter the Valley using the new surrender policy as a cover.

The decision of deploying the `spotters` was conveyed to the Union Home Ministry after the state government informed that it could not spare a heavy contingent of police personnel for deployment along the Indo-Nepal border with Sashastra Seema Bal, a para-military force guarding the Indo-Nepal border.

The `spotters` will be deployed at the checking points to assist the SSB in identifying the Kashmiri youth who have been using Nepal as an alternate route to enter into the Valley, official sources said today.

The `spotters`, who are former militants, will help in nabbing such youths who enter into India through the Nepal border, which became an entry route after the state government announced Rehabilitation Policy in 2010.

Recently, as many as nine militants along with their families entered India through Indo-Nepal border. They were apprehended by chance and later handed over to the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the sources said, adding these `spotters` would reduce the chance of these militants sneaking into India.

The `spotters`, besides being deployed at 15 points from where the people from India and Nepal enter, will also be part of patrolling parties to man areas used for illegal infiltration, the sources said.

According to the new surrender policy, former militants who crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) between 1989 and 2009 will be considered for safe return.

Under the policy, the parents of the youth will have to apply to the district police chiefs of their respective districts certifying that "their wards want to return and live a normal life".

The district police chiefs will scrutinise the applications and then issue orders after clearance from various agencies concerned.

The government has identified four entry points? Poonch-Rawalakote (Poonch), Uri-Muzaffarabad (Uri), Wagah (Punjab) and Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi from where the youth, given clearance, can enter the state.

However, there were an increasing number of cases during the past few months in which former militants holed in PoK were entering into the Valley through Nepal route and then claiming that they had returned as per the policy of 2010.

Some of the youths were later found to be re-cycled into militancy as well.

The issue was flagged at a meeting on Internal Security chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

While favouring a mechanism to ensure safe return of former militants to the state to facilitate their transition for leading peaceful lives, rejoining the national mainstream and contributing towards peace, Omar had said that there are reports that some youth are using Nepal route for returning to Jammu and Kashmir.

"There is a growing concern about the possibility of the recycling of the surrendered and released militants as well as these prospective returnees from PoK. This needs attention of the Government," Omar had said.