Government open to Khalistani rebels’ return: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Feb 19 (Calcutta Tube) India Friday said that it will look into the demands for facilitating return of ‘misguided’ Sikhs who went abroad and want to return to the country after denouncing their demand for Khalistan.

‘I know the demand has been made and I will look into the matter. If misguided Sikh youths who have gone abroad want to come back after denouncing their demand for Khalistan, certainly we have to find the way to rehabilitate them,’ Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters here.

He said the government has shown readiness to facilitate the return of Kashmiri youths from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PoK).

‘Anyone who crossed over to PoK tries to infiltrate to India via Bangladesh or via Nepal on false paper. That’s an unsound approach,’ he said.

‘And the correct … if you denounce militancy and if you want to come over, you will be subject to identification, screening, facilitating legal travel to this part of Jammu and Kashmir, debriefing, rehabilitation and last step will be to integrating with the community,’ he added.

Chidambaram said the trend is not new and it has been the practice for the last several years.

‘In 1997-98, the Central Reserve Police Force raised a battalion of surrendered militants, the Border Security Force recruited 450 surrendered militants and in northeast even today, surrendered militants are being recruited,’ he said.

The home minister said in Maoist-affected states, surrendered rebels were being welcomed to come and join the mainstream.

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