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To ensure a peaceful summer, police have a new mantra: coax militants to surrender

The police, army, and the paramilitary forces involved in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir valley haven’t had much luck when it came to talk a militant out of fighting them at a site of a gun battle. The militant rather prefers to die fighting them and be seen as a “martyr” than to lay down arms and be mocked as a “traitor.”

Nonetheless, not to be daunted, the security agencies feel that from now on they would make an offer of surrender more forcefully at a gun battle site to a militant to persuade him to give up. If the police failed to convince him to surrender only then would the government forces move in to kill the militant. The new decision, according to security officials, is to “ensure a peaceful summer in Kashmir.”

Two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed when a motorcycle they were riding collided with a vehicle of the same force on Wednesday.
A source said the driver of the vehicle lost control over it while navigating a group of youths who were throwing stones at the troopers during a protest in Hillar area of Kokernag.“The vehicle hit the two CRPF men in civvies riding the motorcycle and then overturned,” he said.
The deceased troopers were identified as constable Riyaz Ahmad of Sagam-Kokernag and head constable Nissar Ahmed Wani of Verinag, both from 164 battalion.
According to the source, the slain CRPF men worked with intelligence wing of the force.The driver of the vehicle, Roop Singh, was shifted to the army’s base hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment.
A policeman, identified as Rayees Qamar of Sherpora, who was the second pillion rider on the bike, was injured. He was being treated at district hospital Anantnag.
In a statement, a police spokesman said a case has been registered and investigation started.A police official said the new line of action was in keeping with the Chief Minister’s orders who, last year, had doubled the “reward amount.” “The move came after reports of large number of local militants joining the militant ranks,” he said. “If we talk about the figures of first three months this year, 23 boys joined various militant ranks. Only three returned home on the call of their parents. This signifies the gravity of the situation,” said the official.
The Inspector General of Police (Kashmir), S. P. Pani, said that wherever the police gets a chance to make a local militant surrender, it won’t waste that. “A militant has to be urged to come out. We have been doing it and so far five militants have surrendered at the encounter sties,” he said.
“Whether the militant is killed or he surrenders, reward money is same. It is specifically not written in the standard operating procedure (SOP) that the reward will be given for killing a militant or making him surrender,” he said. “But yes, the first priority will be to make the local militants surrender.”

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