IGP reiterates 'commitment' to local militants who want to 'rejoin their families'

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"Most of them [militant recruits] are either school or college dropouts", Mr. Khan said.

The IGP said the surrender policy would hold good for those militants also who arrive here from the other part of Kashmir as for those active in this part of Kashmir. He said that Atta was arrested in injured state and is presently hospitalized. "We are working on how to get those (militants) into mainstream who are here and how to rehabilitate them in future".

Police said as the security forces tightened the cordon around the village, they were fired at by the militants, triggering the fighting.

The third terrorist, who was injured in the gun battle with security forces in Kulgam's Kund area, is in hospital, the official said.

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"We need to have a policy for surrendered militants living in the state and want to lead a normal life and contribute towards prosperity and progress of the state as well as the nation", Khan said.

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He identified the arrested militants as Atta Mohammad Malik, Shams ul Wiqar and Bilal Sheikh.

The IGP, flanked by officers of Army and CRPF, said that Pakistan was using social media to recruit militants in Kashmir. "There is a relentless social media campaign by Pakistan to lure the youth also", Khan said. We have apprehended three militants while one was killed on the very first day.

He said that around 17 youth have joined militancy in the last four months. "He would have died if we hadn't shifted him to a hospital where he is now said to be out of danger". "Hopefully we should get them", he said. "The 15-25 age group is immature and is unable to differentiate between good and evil". "So the search operation is on", he said. He said Army will calibrate on application of force during the encounters and post encounter situations.

He said "religious exploitation" was another reason for youth to join militancy.

SSP Kulgam Shridhar Patil was also present at the press briefing.

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