State government has appointed a committee headed by IGP Kashmir to review the cases of around 50 youth detained under the charges of stone pelting.
Talking to KNS, Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, Minister of State for Home Affairs, said: ‘We have constituted a committee headed by IGP Kashmir to review cases of youth involved in stone pelting. Many of these cases are presently being heard by the court and we will try to take a lenient view in cases where the youth are found involved in minor offences.”
Kichloo said that a decision will be taken only after the committee submits its recommendations. “We do not want our youth to go astray and we want to facilitate their bright careers. We want to help our youth to come out of depression and anxiety and channelize their potential in the best possible manner for their empowerment,” Kichloo said.
Reliable sources said that the committee will review cases of 50 youth in the first phase. The police sources said that 56 youth are presently booked under stone pelting charges which include one from Anantnag who is under police custody, one from Kulgam presently under judicial custody, eight from Shopian presently under police remand, four from Pulwama presently under police remand, 21 from Sopore presently under police remand, 21 from Baramullah out of which 17 are presently under police remand and four are under judicial custody. Out of these 56 youth, 51 are under police remand and five are under judicial custody.
There is no youth booked under stone pelting charges from Awantipora, Budgam, Srinagar, Ganderbal and Bandipora among these 56 youths booked under stone pelting charges.
The minister of state for home affairs further said that the government will review all the cases against youth who have been booked for stone pelting at various places in valley and may release the accused in phased manner who are found to have been booked in minor offences under general amnesty plan.
Kichloo said: “The government has taken a call on the issue after National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah said that youth booked under stone pelting charges deserve a hassle free life.” The amnesty plan is seen as one of the initiatives of party’s course correction plans that have been chalked out after facing a drubbing in the recently held Lok Sabha elections in the state. Unconfirmed reports say that around 600 youth were rounded up in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. But most of them were released after the elections were over.
More than 1,300 youth in the Valley face charges of rioting and stone pelting since 2010. Pertinently, Dr Farooq had on May 29, said the youth booked for stone pelting since 2010 need amnesty. The NC president had opined about amnesty after a group of young boys met appealed him to get police cases against them withdrawn. A group of youth in a party youth convention held in Srinagar had expressed serious concern about their ‘miserable life’ caused by the police cases against them. After meeting addressing the youth convention, while talking to reporters, Dr Farooq had observed “Today, I met youth who were involved in stone pelting. They told me there are FIRs against them which should be withdrawn. They need to be given some sort of general amnesty,” Abdullah, who met a delegation of stone-throwers at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subah here, said.