India is considering offering young Kashmiri militants an escape from a life of violence by temporarily resettling them in more peaceful parts of the country, according to the top military commander in the Kashmir Valley.
Lieutenant General BS Raju revealed the plan for a new scheme to offer a way out of militancy during a telephone interview from his headquarters in Srinagar, Kashmir’s main city.
He told Reuters that recommendations had been submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and that the plan, while not finalised, was in an advanced stage.
“These are young boys who need to be taken care of for a period of time,” Raju said, adding that could involve temporarily settling them outside of Muslim-majority Kashmir.
Past efforts to persuade fighters to put down their guns have had mixed success. But Raju said that the military had recommended that the scheme take a longer-term approach to rehabilitate ex-militants.
“The bottom-line is that it will have a structure that will help and give confidence to the people who are opting to surrender,” Raju said.