Footballer who joined LeT returns, CM Mehbooba hails mother’s lovehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/footballer-who-joined-lashkar-e-toiba-returns-home-majid-arshid-khan-jammu-kashmir-militant-4941478/

Footballer who joined LeT returns, CM Mehbooba hails mother’s love

Police said Majid joined Lashkar-e-Taiba and was seen at the funeral of Muzamil Manzoor, a militant killed during a gunfight in Kund. Officials said hours after the IGP’s appeal on Wednesday, asking local militants to return, Majid contacted his family and said he wanted to return.

Majid Arshid Khan had joined LeT
Police and Army adressing a press conference in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

A week after he announced on Facebook that he was joining the militant ranks, Majid Arshid Khan, a young footballer from Anantnag, has returned. IGP, Kashmir, Muneer Khan said Majid has neither surrendered, nor has he been arrested. “He has returned home,’’ he said. Police sources said while Majid is still in custody, his family members have met him.

Police said Majid joined Lashkar-e-Taiba and was seen at the funeral of Muzamil Manzoor, a militant killed during a gunfight in Kund. Officials said hours after the IGP’s appeal on Wednesday, asking local militants to return, Majid contacted his family and said he wanted to return.

Soon, police and Army too came to know that Majid wanted to return. Police assured the family that no cases will be registered against him if he returned, said officials. A top official has said Majid will not be questioned. General Officer Commanding, Victor Force, Maj General B S Raju, said Majid Khan deserves compliments for his brave decision. “No charges will be pressed on him and he will lead a normal life.’’

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti welcomed Majid’s decision to return home. ‘’A mother’s 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,’’ she tweeted.

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READ FIRST REPORT | Footballer joins Lashkar-e-Toiba, police appeal with parents, friends: Come back home

Recently, a video of Majid’s mother Asyea, in which she is asking her son to return, had gone viral. The chief minister said her government is “committed towards a rehabilitation policy that secures their future and ensures that they are not harassed”.

At Majid’s home in Sadiqabad locality in Anantnag, there is jubiliation. “I am feeling very happy on the return of my son. We appreciate the efforts of our friends and well-wishers,” said his father Irshad Khan. The announcement of Majid, the only son of his parents, of joining militancy had left his friends shocked.

A second-year commerce student at Degree College, Anantnag, Majid had changed after his friend Yawar Nissar was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir in August, said his friends. “At the funeral, he wept till his friend’s body was laid to rest. After that, he was a changed person,” said one of his friends. Following his announcement to join militancy, Majid’s relatives and friends had been appealing to him on social media to come back for the sake of his parents.

Majid Arshid Khan had joined LeT
Family of Twenty-year-old Majid Khan, at their home in Anantnag, Kashmir. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

Allowed him to return on mother’s request

The Lashkar-e-Taiba has said it allowed Majid to return home on the request of his mother. In a statement issued Friday, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief in J&K, Mahmood Shah, “clarified that Majid Arshad Khan was permitted to leave for his home on the request of his mother, since he was the only guarantor in his household.” “The freedom struggle of Kashmir is being brought up by the sacrifices of the whole nation and if one mother calls upon…son to get back to her, we will respect her decision,” the statement said.