Appeals from their crying mothers made two holed-up terrorists surrender to the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir early this morning, bringing to an end an operation that began late last night in Kulgam district.
"Come out, my son. I am your mother. I will seek forgiveness from security forces if you have committed any mistake. Come out, we are waiting for you," said one of the mothers. After repeated appeals by the families, the two terrorists — in their 20s and recently recruited — walked out and were handed over to the police.
The forces started its operation in village Hadigam of Kulgam, around 70km from Srinagar, just before midnight after an input from the police. By 2.30 am, as they conducted a search, the terrorists opened fire from inside a house, a statement by the Indian Army said.
As the forces found out that the two terrorists were local young men — and that their families were "desperate to get them back into the mainstream" — they were contained inside the house while their families were brought to the site, according to the statement.
Repeated surrender appeals were made by the parents and security forces until the morning, when they finally laid their weapons down.
During the #encounter, 02 local terrorists #surrendered on the #appeal of their parents & police. #Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition recovered. Further details shall follow.@JmuKmrPolicehttps://t.co/Yo4K4huytR— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) July 6, 2022
The two men were part of a recently recruited module of the Lashkar-e-Toiba. "These youth were brainwashed and tasked to carry out anti-national activities and killings at the behest of LeT and [Pakistan's intelligence agency] ISI," according to the army's statement. Police said arms and ammunition were recovered from them.
This operation is rare in the sense that a serious effort was made by security forces to get the holed-up men out alive. In most anti-terrorist operations in recent times, the houses in which they are hiding are destroyed with explosives and heavy firing.
More than 100 terrorists, most of them local recruits, have been killed in security operations this year, according to the police.