Anantnag: The family of footballer-turned-militant Majid Khan expressed gratitude for their son’s surrender before security forces.
Days after appeal by his parents to shun militancy and return home, twenty-year-old Majid Khan who joined the ranks of militants last week has handed himself to the government forces.
Sources said that Khan, an ace footballer, surrendered before 1RR of Army under 1 Sector Khanabal last night around 10:30 PM. He was later handed over to Victor Force, based in Awantipora.
His mother, 50 year-old Ashiya Begum, had not eaten since last Thursday when Khan disappeared suddenly. A day later, his photograph surfaced on WhatsApp showing him posing with an assault rifle.
The distraught mother had been making fervent appeals to everyone who visited her home to help her son return home.
On Tuesday, his father, 59 year-old Irshad Ahmad Khan, suffered a mild heart attack after hearing that his son had been trapped in a gunfight in Kulgam.
“I got a new lease of life. Now I can stand back on my legs and I have got well,” his father Irshad Ahmad Khan told mediapersons at his residence in Anantnag.
“I thank the media who conveyed our message to Majid,” said an elated Khan.
Pertinently, Majid was working with a charity before joining militancy.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti credited the “mother’s love” for the surrender of Majid Khan.
“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,” tweeted Mehbooba.
“I understand the predicament of young boys who have strayed into militancy. Most realise the futility of senseless violence & want to return home and live normal lives with dignity,” Mehbooba wrote in another tweet.
Mehbooba said the choice to return homes for the young militants “is not easy one” because of the social stigma attached to “surrender.”
“But the choice to renounce violence is not an easy one and they find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea. The fear of social stigma clouds their judgement,” she wrote in her successive tweet.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah welcomed the development and said that he hoped Majid Khan could lead a normal life and “not be harassed”.
“If that’s true then it’s a very good development. Hope he can go back to leading a normal life & not be harassed,” Abdullah tweeted while reacting on reported surrender of footballer-turned-militant.
Majid’s surrender comes a day after Kashmir police chief, Muneer Khan reiterated the surrender offer for local men who gave up militancy.
He said that those local men who lay down arms will be adequately supported and rehabilitated.
Addressing the media in Pulwama, Major General B. S. Raju said, “The brave young man, Majid Khan, decided on his own to shun violence and return to lead a normal life pursuing his academics and passion for football.
“He was neither apprehended nor did he surrender. We only facilitated his return,” he added. Majid made a brief presence at the press conference.
Police has assured the family of Majid Khan that no charges will be pressed against their son who has “returned home after shunning the path of violence”.
“On the night of 16th Nov 17, Majid Khan, a 20 year old boy, an ace footballer from Anantnag returned to his parents. The boy had gone astray a few days back however, on his own initiative he has shunned the path of violence and understood his obligations towards his parents,” said a spokesman.