The appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor in Jammu and Kashmir was the first sign of a policy shift by the Narendra Modi government. While on one hand, several agencies went after terrorists and funding on the other the appointment of Sharma signaled that the government was willing to speak to all those who wanted peace in the Valley.
Sharma who held talks in Kashmir with several stakeholders went on to suggest to the government to withdraw cases against stone pelters who had committed the offence for the first time. There are around 4.500 such first-time offenders in the Valley and now the government has decided to withdraw those cases.
Top Home Ministry officials informed OneIndia that Sharma had suggested that it was crucial to focus on the youth of Kashmir. Sharma, on the other hand, informed that the focus would be on the youth. My current focus is on them as they matter the most, Sharma also said.
In another move, the Indian Army has decided to open channels for terrorists to surrender. This is an option that the Army has given to the locals who have taken to militancy. There is a 24x7 toll-free number which has been set up for terrorists to surrender The number is 14411. This helpline number is called Madadgar. Either the terrorist himself can call in and surrender or the families too can dial and seek help.
Top officials in Kashmir told the local youth who have joined terror groups to return home. Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, S P Vaid has urged the local youth to return to their homes.
Vaid while making the appeal also said that they had managed to get at least 60 youth back into their homes. Lt Gen J S Sandhu too made a similar appeal and said that the youth should stop being a proxy of Pakistan.
The local terrorists must realise that it is easy to call themselves as Mujahids. But are you really a Mujahid or just a proxy, the Army official asked.
He further assured that the Army and police would extend all help. He said that there would be no harassment and the youth who are ready to return home would get more help than what they would have expected.