Accept mistake, return to mainstream; will welcome with open arms: Army commander to newly recruited militants

Ready to facilitate surrenders even midst of intense anti-militancy Ops; army is for saving lives, not to take lives; Protecting human rights during encounters, ensuing minimum collateral damage: GoC-in-C

Ganderbal, Aug 23 : General officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C) of army’s Udhampur based northern Command Yogesh Kumar Joshi Monday while reaching out to the newly recruited militants said that the young militants who are ready to accept mistakes and join mainstream will be welcomed with open arms.

Addressing a function at Mansabal Lake Park in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, the GoC-in-C said that today, the army’s is observing the 23rd anniversary of the homecoming of 23 boys who were forced to pick up arms but were rescued by the army in Gurez sector and handed over to their families later. “Today, I am glad that these 23 men are living a happy life back home with their families,” the army officer said, as per news agency.

The GoC-in-C said that his message to the newly recruited militants is that if they are ready to accept their mistake and join mainstream, they will be welcomed with open arms. “We will facilitate their surrender even in the midst of intense counter militancy operations,” the army officer said. “We are here to save lives and not to take lives. Administration along with the army will not only facilitate the surrender but also ensure the boys who lay their weapons are well integrated within the society.”

The army commander said that over the last few months, they are seeing families of young and newly recruited militants making fervent appeals to their loved ones pleading them to leave “gun culture and cycle of violence.” “This is really heartbreaking. We make all efforts to ensure and seek surrenders. We want youth to live a peaceful life by returning to the mainstream,” he said.

The GoC-in-C said that army gives lot of importance to protect human rights while conducting anti-militancy operations besides ensuring minimum collateral damage—(KNO)