Govt to withdraw cases against first-time stone pelters in Kashmir

Srinagar

The government of India is likely to announce an amnesty scheme for stone pelters in the Kashmir Valley and withdraw cases against first-time stone pelters, reports quoting government officials said.

The scheme, discussed between officials from Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India, is likely to be announced as a show of good faith ahead of interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma’s second visit to the state later this month. Sharma, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau, was appointed as the GoI’s representative on October 23 to hold a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders.

(KL File Image: Bilal Bahadur)

“There are thousands of youth facing FIRs and we will be withdrawing cases against first-time stone pelters as a goodwill gesture,’’ Hindustan Times reported quoting a home ministry official.

The government is hopeful that the withdrawal of cases against those who have only one case of stone pelting against them will help soothe nerves. “The confidence-building measure is aimed at the youth who had paralysed the state last year,’’ the home ministry official said.

The amnesty scheme, the government hopes, will increase the political space for chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is hemmed in by protests that have swept south Kashmir, her party’s traditional stronghold. The chief minister has been under pressure for being in an alliance with the ruling BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

The amnesty scheme aimed at stone pelters, officials revealed, has been discussed with multiple stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi. Sources said the paramilitary and the army have been taken on board.

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