Who are stone-throwers?

The government has a firm belief that stone-throwing is run by a syndicate with political backing. The separatists are largely purported to be the mentors of stone-throwers. However, the stone-throwers have sometimes embarrassed the separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Omar. Mirwaiz, whose pocket borough downtown is a highly restive area, appealed to the stone-throwers, umpteen times, to desist from the savage practice, which sometimes provides reason for the cops to fire and snatch innocent lives. But each time, Mirwaiz pleaded at Jamia Masjid during his Friday sermon, the youngsters ignored him soon after the midday prayers. This floated an impression that stone-throwers are following Geelani rather than Mirwaiz. However, this myth also exploded. When Geelani asked the people to end strike a few days after Wamiq Farooq’s killing, some masked youngsters called a press conference in downtown Srinagar asking both Geelani and Mirwaiz to desist from issuing commandments to youngsters. That time ailing Geelani was in New Delhi to escape the harshness of winter. “We do not follow leaders who are enjoying in their palaces (read Mirwaiz) or basking in warm sunshine outside the state (read Geelani). We are representatives of resistance movement in Kashmir, which belongs to youngsters. We are the custodians of this movement and would carry it forward to the logical conclusion,” said one of the masked men. Eventually, they extended the shutdown to four days and ensured it was implemented (across the valley). The police are clueless as to who the youngsters were.
In Baramulla, however, Geelani’s spokesman claimed that stone pelting is carried out by anti-movement persons, who are funded by police and army. A statement even identified two stone-throwers claiming that they were on the security agencies’ payrolls. A day after, the stone-pelters including the two youngsters identified by Geelani’s spokesman, called a press conference and swore by their allegiance to anti-India movement. They announced to desist from stone-pelting unless the “allegations” against them were rolled back. Geelani has not responded to their claims but this has definitely generated a debate on the identity and the purpose of stone throwers.


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