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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Since August 5, 765 held in J-K for stone-pelting, says Centre

Replying to a written question in the Lok Sabha, Union minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy also said there has been a decline in the incidents of stone pelting since August 5.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2019 02:33 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Srinagar
Students pelt stones during clashes with police personnel in Srinagar on May 14. 
Students pelt stones during clashes with police personnel in Srinagar on May 14.  (Waseem Andrabi/HT File)
         

Security forces have arrested 765 people in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre’s August 5 move to nullify Article 370 for their alleged involvement in stone-pelting incidents, and “multi-pronged policies” have been adopted to check the menace, the Union home ministry told Parliament on Tuesday. The ministry reiterated that measures are showing results.

Replying to a written question in the Lok Sabha, Union minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy also said there has been a decline in the incidents of stone pelting since August 5.

“Since August 5, 2019, to November 15, 2019, 765 people have been arrested in 190 cases registered relating to stone pelting/law and order. From January 1, 2019, to August 4, 2019, 361 number of such cases were registered,” he said, giving comparative figures.

On August 5, the Centre nullified Article 370, withdrawing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, while also splitting the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Reddy said the government has initiated “multi-pronged policies to check the stone-pelting menace and has succeeded in curbing it to the extent that a large number of trouble-makers, instigators and mob mobilisers have been identified and various preventive measures were taken against them which include the detention under the PSA [Public Safety Act] and preventive arrests”.

“Investigation has revealed that various separatist organisations and activists which are part of Hurriyat have been behind the incidents of stone-pelting in Kashmir valley. The NIA [National Investigation Agency] has charge-sheeted 18 persons in the terror-funding cases so far,” he said.

The government has imposed restrictions in the Valley to avoid any fallout of the August 5 decision. Several top leaders, including National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, and Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti, have been kept under detention.

On Tuesday, two Rajya Sabha members from the PDP met home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, asking for the release of political detainees in the newly formed Union Territory. Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mohammad Fayaz Mir also urged the minister to reach out to Kashmiris and allay their fears.

According to a person privy to details, the parliamentarians requested Shah to send a delegation of central ministers to the Kashmir Valley to address the concerns of people and encourage them to reopen shops and establishments.

Mir also submitted a letter to Shah, urging him to release the Abdullahs and Mufti, all former chief ministers. The letter, posted on his social media accounts, said the people of J&K were facing a communication blackout, which had affected the functioning of daily life.

“We still believe that democracy is the most potent method to resolve these issues and difference that have created unrest among the people of J&K,” he said.

He also referred to a recent controversy that broke out when political detainees were allegedly frisked while being transferred to new detention centres.

“Recently when the detained leaders were being shifted to a new sub jail, they were dealt in a very humiliating and down grading manner and this heavily outraged the detainees as well. They have been subjected to extremely scanty and indignant living condition in detentions,’’ the leader said.