JK police warns stone pelters who hamper anti-militancy ops

JK police warns stone pelters who hamper anti-militancy ops

Despite Centre's amnesty for first-time "offenders of stone pelting", Jammu and Kashmir police on Sunday warned that it will go tough against stone-pelters who hamper anti-militancy operations in the Valley.

"Harsh measure will be put in place to deal with those who are habitual of stone pelting and obstruct anti-militancy operations," J&K Director General Police (DGP) Shesh Pal Vaid told reporter.

He said the police is trying its best to change the minds of 'misguided' youth. "It is also the responsibility of the parents and society to guide their children. We are identifying the children vulnerable to inimical propaganda and started counseling them so that these kids do not fall prey to any unlawful activity," Vaid maintained.

On November 29, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti approved the withdrawal of cases against 4327 youth involved in 744 cases of stone pelting. The decision was part of the Centre's attempts to soothe frayed nerves in Kashmir which saw five months-long violence last year, in which nearly 100 protesters were killed.

The DGP said that they have started the legal process to withdraw the cases against the first time offenders. "The list is being completed. Chief prosecuting officers in the session court will file government order in the court for further action." he said.

The decision to grant amnesty to stone-pelters is in tune with ruling Peoples Democratic Party's policy that those not involved in heinous crimes should be released to give them a fresh chance. PDP's alliance partner in the state, BJP have already supported the decision to withdraw cases against first-time stone throwers.

Official records reveal that over 11,500 cases against stone pelters were registered from July last year when unrest broke out in Kashmir following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces. Of these, more than 4,300 cases were registered against those who were found involved in stone pelting or other incidents for the first time.

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