Kashmir footballer gives up guns on mother's tears
Srinagar/Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said "mother's love prevailed" to get college student and footballer Majid Arshid Khan, who had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba a week ago, "back home".
Arshid walked into a security camp in south Kashmir on Thursday night and surrendered with his arms and ammunition, officials said in Srinagar.
He was whisked away to an undisclosed destination early on Friday morning. The college student, a goalkeeper for his local team in Anantnag in south Kashmir, is believed to have turned to militancy after a close friend was killed in an encounter.
"A mothers love prevailed. Her impassioned appeal helped in getting Majid, an aspiring footballer back home. Every time a youngster resorts to violence, it is his family which suffers the most (sic)," Mufti said in a post on Twitter.
The chief minister said that she understands the predicament of the youths who joined militancy, but the "fear of social stigma" clouds their judgement.
"I understand the predicament of young boys who have strayed into militancy. Most realise the futility of senseless violence and want to return home and live normal lives with dignity.
"But the choice to renounce violence is not an easy one, and they find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Police was always in touch with Arshid's friends and family members, urging them to put pressure on him to return home.
The surrender follows appeals by his parents and Jammu and Kashmir Police. His parents had gone on television and social media to ask him to surrender.
A video showing his mother Asiya Khan crying and asking him to come home went viral on social media.
Director General of Police S P Vaid on Friday urged all women in Jammu and Kashmir to appeal to their sons, who have joined militancy, to shun the path of violence and return home.
"I pray that wisdom prevails and all such mothers whose sons have picked up guns also appeal to their sons to give up the path of violence and come back home," the DGP wrote on Twitter.