To manage stone pelters, Kashmir is starting ‘Correction Home’ in Pulwama

Kashmir Wire

Srinagar

Kashmir’s stone pelters will have a new address now, Pulwama. The south Kashmir town will host Kashmir’s first ‘Correction Home’ where the stone pelters will undergo multi-faceted help to give up the violent behaviour and become normal, highest placed sources said.

File image of a girl student pelting stones in Srinagar (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

A formal order has been already issued. The Home will operate from the premises that was supposed to be the district jail, Pulwama. The building that was earlier with the armed forces was reclaimed and readied for the district jail. Now it will be exclusively used for managing the stone pelters who are not juveniles. The state prisons’ department will manage the Home and the state home ministry will fund it, sources said.

File image of a stone pelter being taken for court hearing. (KL Image: Bilal Bahaduir)

“Do not confuse the Juvenile Home with the Correction Home,” a senior official privy of the development said. “The Juvenile Homes are meant for the population which is below 18 years of age and are managed by the state social welfare department but our problem is the population that is between the juvenile status and the maturity status that is above 18 but below 25.”

Right now, 15 boys have already been shifted to this Home, sources said. “It will not have any other crowd and it is being done as a pilot project,” the sources added.

The boys who will move to this Home will include all those falling in this category of age group, regardless of the number and nature of cases registered against them.

Officials said a lot of exercise has gone into the concept of creating this Home. There are experts from different fields and some non-governmental organisations, which have added value to the concept. Even Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) has also been involved, sources said.

File image of a young stone pelter (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

“In this Home, the boys will be tackled differently, unlike criminals as they are being tackled in the jails and detection centres,” the official said. “The focus of the Home is to make corrections using all kind of therapies but avoiding humiliation and torture. In cases, where the Home managers are convinced of a change, even police cases can be withdrawn.”

Officials said that the process of creating the peculiar correction home is outcome of a long exercise. Various studies were undertaken and a number of experts, including academics, were involved. “The idea is to give these young men an atmosphere where they can think of their future, the life,” the official said.

Humiliation, insult and torture during questioning and interrogations have pushed scores of youth to join militancy, the investigations have found out. The Home, the government sources said, will change this tradition and try to tackle these tender minds humanely and professionally. (Kashmir Wire)

 

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