As a first step toward defusing the current crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, the Omar Abdullah government is considering the release of 300 people arrested for throwing stones at security personnel during protests since June 11.
State Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather revealed this to HT on Wednesday. “Our first priority is to restore peace and order. A review of all cases of stone throwers and their release would be the first step,” he said.
Along with 109 civilian deaths in the past 104 days of protests, the arrest of stone throwing youths — mostly teenagers — has become a big issue in Kashmir. This is because 60 of those arrested have been booked under the stringent Public Safety Act, which disallows any appeal or trial for one year.
The National Conference-led coalition also plans to launch a big employment drive by filling all vacancies in the state government and inviting investments to generate more jobs.
“We must realise that unemployment is causing frustration and leading to anger on the streets,” Rather said.