Responding to a tearful appeal on video by his mother, 20-year-old footballer Majid Khan who recently joined the terrorist ranks surrendered before the security forces in south Kashmir on Thursday.
Brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle, Majid had announced on social media on 10 November that he had joined Lashkar-e- Toiba after one of his friends was killed in an encounter with security forces.
Majid is from Anantnag, where terrorist outfits are aggressively trying to recruit youths to their ranks through appeals on social media.
His family members confirmed that moved by his heartbroken mother Asiya Begum’s appeal that went viral on TV channels and social media, Majid decided to shun terrorism.
His surrender was expected to be formally announced by Army, police and Central Reserve Police Force on Friday.
Reports said that Majid walked into a security forces’ camp on Thursday night and gave himself up.
Before that, he reportedly talked on the phone with his family to convey his plan to lay down arms.
The news about the surrender was broken in the morning by a police officer who tweeted, “Alhamdullilah, he is back. Mother’s prayers have been answered. Hope and pray all the boys up in arms be back to their mothers. Let Peace prevail.”
Thereafter, social media was flooded with messages greeting Majid over his decision.
This was followed by tweets by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“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,” the CM tweeted.
“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 judgment,” she added.
In another tweet, she said: “My government is committed towards a rehabilitation policy that secures their future and ensures they are not harassed.”
Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, reacted by tweeting: “If that’s true then it’s a very good development. Hope he can go back to leading a normal life & not be harassed.”
J&K Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid tweeted: “I pray that wisdom prevails and all such mothers whose sons have picked up guns also appeal their sons to give up the path of violence and come back home.”
On Tuesday, Majid’s father, 59-year-old Irshad Ahmad Khan, suffered a mild heart attack after hearing that his son was trapped in an encounter in Kulgam.