Army Reaches Out to Families of Killed, Surrendered Militants in J-K’s Chenab Valley

A defense spokesperson said the military, having controlled militancy in the Chenab Valley for the past 15 years, on Monday reached out to the families of dead and surrendered militants there to address their grievances. The Chenab Valley, comprising the districts of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban in the Jammu region, is a developed cultural, educational and tourism center of the Union Territory. The valley was severely affected by militancy from 1990 to 2007.

“Although (the people) do not favor bloodshed and separatist policies, due to insufficient job opportunities and lack of awareness among the local youth, they are vulnerable to the temptations of hostile and anti-national elements,” the spokesperson said. He said that in order to consider the problems faced by the surrendered militants and the families of the dead and to monitor their rehabilitation and reform efforts, the army organized a meeting in Gondu in Doda.

“The event is also a suitable forum to interact with the surrendered militants, their families and the families of the dead militants and provide them with needed guidance and assistance in rehabilitation and reform efforts,” he added. He said that 14 surrendered militants and families of the dead terrorists attended the event from Gondo and nearby villages.

The spokesman said that similar meetings were organized in Patnasi, Thattri, Shergwari, Kishtwar and Jahan in the nearby Kishtwar district. “During the course of the interaction, the initiatives that are being taken to develop the region, the problems it faces, and the search for solutions were discussed,” he said.

He said representatives from the military also briefed them on the various social and financial welfare plans launched by the Indian Armed Forces, Union Territory and Central Governments. “The meeting was well received and they highly appreciated and praised the support given by the Indian Army in all areas,” the spokesperson said.

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