As Kashmir valley observed shutdown against arrests and detentions of youth, police in Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district have released 14 alleged stone-throwers, officials said.
The call for shutdown was given by Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on 13th May and had threatened government with agitation if arrested youth aren’t released.
The volatile Sopore town witnessed intense stone-hurling clashes and protests before and after polling for Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency resulting in injuries to scores of youth and armed forces.
In a function held, the parents and detained youth gave ‘written assurance’ to police, and ‘made it clear’ that they will ‘not pelt stones on forces in the future’, officials said.
“Initially we had arrested 18 youth and charged them while 14 have been released. They were arrested from 6th May and also after post-poll violence. The 18 youth, whom we had arrested, gave us names of another 38 youth and they were also charged,” a police official, insisting not to be named, told GNS.
He said among arrested were minors and they were also charged. “We didn’t arrest 38 youth but they surrendered before us today morning,” he said. The official said these ‘stone-throwers’ have been ‘counseled’ as they were ‘first time offenders’. “They gave us written assurance and we released them and also exempted them from charges,” he added.
“We have counseled these boys and told them not to destroy their careers. We have requested their parents to keep an eye on their children and make them understand,” Superintendent of Police Sopore, Abdul Qayoom, who was present on the occasion, told media persons. “We will see to what extent our efforts will bear fruits in future but I am hopeful,” he added.
The parents of released boys said that they will keep an eye on their wards and would ‘try their best’ to stop them from pelting stones.