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Families of ex-militants held along LoC await their return

Army had arrested 23 members of the families for trying to enter Pakistan's Muzaffarabad.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Haihama (kupwara) |
October 29, 2013 2:49:20 am

The wives and children of five former militants,who came to India under the J&K government’s rehabilitation policy and were arrested in Keran sector for trying to cross the border last week,were released while their husbands are still in police custody.

The Army,on Thursday,had arrested 23 members of the families for trying to enter Pakistan’s Muzaffarabad. Police and Army officials said they had planned to cross the highly guarded Kishen Ganga river and had risked their lives in the attempt. Fearing detention,however,family members of the former militants denied that they were trying to cross the border.

At Haihama village,Mehtab Begum and her four children wait for the release of her husband Fayaz Ahmad Wani,currently under detention at Trehgam police station. Wani had crossed over to Pakistan occupied Kashmir in 1990. The family returned to Kashmir last year. While Begum denies that she intended to cross the LoC,she admits her life in Kashmir has become hell and that given the opportunity she will leave. “In Karachi my husband ran a stable business,our children attended good schools and we had access to every facility. Once we reached here everything proved a farce and we now regret our decision,” she said. Begum says that her family had gone to Keran for an excursion. There,the Army stopped them and sought their papers. “Since we had no permission,the Army handed us over to the local police.” she said. Begum says they had tried to get passports and relevant documents to travel to Pakistan legally but the government had denied them the documents.

Ameena,wife of Zahoor Bhat,the brother of J&K Liberation Front founder Maqbool Bhat,also denied that they had any plans to cross the LoC. “We had gone for a picnic,but the Army detained us and handed over to the police,’’ she says. Ameena says that she wants to travel to Pakistan to meet her relatives. “Families of rehabilitated militants are facing lot of problems with the government in the Valley,” she said.

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