|Thursday, October 19, 2000,
12 top militants surrender
JAMMU, Oct 18 — Pakistani agencies today received a setback when 12 dreaded militants, belonging to three different rebel outfits, surrendered to the security forces at Surankot.
Major General Richard Khare, in charge of Romeo Force, which had blunted the offensive of the rebels, and the IGP, Mr R.V. Raju, were happy when the militants laid down their arms and ammunition before them.
Most of these militants belong to Poonch and Rajouri districts and were active for the past over one year. They had carried out a series of subversive activities.
Reports said they had surrendered partly out of scare of being eliminated by the security forces and partly as a result of change of heart. They had realised that they were fighting a futile battle.
Those who surrendered were identified as Mohd Iqbal, Khalid, Showkat Hussain, Zulfi, Mohd Farooq, Sabzar, Mohd Zameer, all belonging to Harkatul Jehadi Islami, Shabir Ahmed, Shakeel Ahmed, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Mohd Iqbal, Javed Iqbal belonging to Tehrikul Jehadi Islami.
Maj General Khare told the militants and civilians who had gathered there to shun violence as the path of progress was better than that of violence. He urged those who surrendered today and other prominent citizens to persuade gun-totting youths to lay down their weapons and join the mainstream.
It was revealed that more than 261 militants had been eliminated in Surankote area of Poonch since June 1998.
The police and the Army officers had played a key role in motivating the militants to surrender.
SRINAGAR (PTI): A Special Police Officer and six militants were killed in encounters while eight civilians were injured in a landmine blast in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, officials said today.
Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, wanted in connection with a number of killings in the state, were killed in an encounter with security personnel in Latter-Chadoora village of Badgam district, an official spokesman said.
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