Kashmir footballer Arshid gets warm welcome after he quit LeT to return home

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Kashmir footballer Arshid gets warm welcome after he quit LeT to return home

Security forces in Kashmir have decided not to press charges against Majid Arshid, a footballer who joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba last week but surrendered after emotional appeals from his mother.

In a major victory for the armed forces, a college student and footballer Majid Arshid, who had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba a week ago, has surrendered before security forces .

Arshid walked into a security camp in south Kashmir on Thursday night and surrendered with his arms and ammunition.

The college student, a goalkeeper for his local team in Anantnag in south Kashmir, is believed to have turned to militancy after a close friend was killed in an encounter.

Police was constantly in touch with his friends and family members, urging them to put pressure on Arshid to return home.

The surrender follows appeals by his parents and Jammu and Kashmir Police. His parents had gone on television and social media to ask him to surrender. A video showing his mother Asiya Khan crying and asking him to come home went viral on social media.

The return of the terrorist to the mainstream received a warm welcome from both the security forces and political parties in the state as police and army have decided that no case would be registered against the footballer.

MOTHER'S LOVE PREVAILED: 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," tweeted the chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti.

"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," reads another tweet of Mehbooba.

Director General of Police SP Vaid also urged all women in Jammu and Kashmir to appeal to their sons, who have joined militancy, to shun the path of violence and return home.

In a joint press conference by army and police officers in Srinagar, Victor Force commander Major General BS Raju said it was a very brave decision by the 20-year-old to leave the terror group.

Amid conflicting reports whether Majid Khan had surrendered or was caught, Raju said, "The brave young man, Majid Khan, decided on his own to shun violence and returned to lead a normal life, pursuing his academics and passion for football."

The Army, he said, merely facilitated his decision.

"He was neither apprehended nor did he surrender. We only facilitated his return," Raju said.

The Kashmir Valley's police chief, Munir Khan, said no charges would be pressed against Majid and he would be allowed to join his family.