In a rare instance of compassion in the violence-hit Valley, a Kashmiri youth who had joined Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), surrendered before the police after his mother appealed to him to do so.
This happened in the interiors of Sopore on Thursday night after the Army with the help of other security agencies laid siege on a locality after intelligence inputs indicated presence of a militant in a house.
A senior Army official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on Friday that the troops came to know the identity of the holed up militant as Umaq Khaliq Mir alias 'Sameer', a resident of Tujjar in North Kashmir.
When attempts to draw out the youth proved futile, it was decided to request his parents, whose home was five km away, to come and persuade him to surrender, the official said.
His mother agreed readily and came to the place and pleaded with his son as the Army had assured her that they would take a lenient view in case her son surrendered.
"It was an anxious moment for us as we were risking life of a civilian along with some of my boys, who had provided human shield to the woman," the official said.
The mother was allowed to go inside the house and request her son to come out and surrender which he eventually did.
After a lot of persuasion, Mir emerged from the house and handed over one AK rifle, three magazines, three grenades and a radio set.
Mir, a 26 year-old boy of Tujjar, had been missing from May this year and had joined the LeT.
"We make all out efforts to preserve human life and this is one such example. I am glad that my decision was right because at the end, motherhood prevailed over a boy who had been brainwashed to carry out innocent killings in the state," the official added.
After his surrender, he was handed over to the local police which arrested him.
(With PTI inputs)