A top military commander posted in the Kashmir Valley has stated that India is considering offering young Kashmiri militants a getaway from a life full of violence by resettling them at peaceful parts of the country temporarily.
According to Lieutenant General B.S. Raju, the new scheme is a way out of militancy for young militants. He was talking to correspondents over telephone from his headquarters based in Srinagar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already received the recommendations and the plan, which is already at an advanced stage, is yet to be finalized.
Gen Raju was quoted as saying that, "These are young boys who need to be taken care of for a period of time." The move means settling them temporarily at peaceful areas.
There have been efforts made in the past to persuade militants to put down their guns but the response was mixed. He added that the idea is to instill confidence among people who are willing to surrender.
In 30 years, over 50,000 people have lost their lives due to Pakistan fuelling militancy by using militant groups to wage a proxy-war across the disputed border, which has divided the Himalayan region.
Security forces have flooded the Kashmir valley due to the prevalent situation and about 200,000 military and paramilitary troops are deployed there. As compared to the last year, there has been a 40 per cent drop in militant attacks.
PM Modi had taken away Jammu and Kashmir's status last year and the political environment changed drastically since then. The move led to the state splitting into two federally-controlled territories and special privileges that were given to Kashmiris were removed.
PM Modi had said that it was important as it will lead to the economic development of the region and it will get integrated with the rest of the country.
The action was however denounced by Pakistan. According to Gen Raju, there are currently around 180 militants operating with various groups active in the Valley.
In 2004 a policy was implemented, which states that when a militant surrenders, he is given a lump sum payout of 150,000 Indian rupees ($2,000), along with a small monthly stipend, and cash payments for weapons handed over. He is also given vocational training, which according to a senior police officer, who was posted in the Valley, was not enough. Currently, the surrenders are done according to this policy.