50 stone-throwing youth to be released
The J&K government is likely to release 50 youngsters booked for stone throwing as a step to de-escalate tension in the Valley. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act may also be selectively withdrawn from some districts of the state.
These are among the major decisions taken at a meeting of the Unified Command of the top brass of the armed forces, police, security and intelligence organisations and administration in Srinagar on Wednesday. The meeting was chaired by state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
“The youths will be handed over to their parents on assurance of their good conduct in future,” said Principal Secretary (Home) B.R. Sharma.
It was also decided that mobile services would be restored in North Kashmir.
The services were suspended in July after separatists gave a call for a protest march to Sopore, 54 km north of Srinagar. The government has ordered reactivating mobile services in Baramulla, 65 km from Srinagar, and Sopore immediately.
The government also decided to remove bunkers from 16 localities in Srinagar. It said the idea was to “descale the number of bunkers and checkpoints” in the state's summer capital.
The state government also decided to set up two sub-groups of senior civil, police and army officers -- one each for Kashmir and Jammu -- to identify areas where the government can de-notify the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
Abdullah, who addressed a public rally in his home constituency of Ganderbal earlier on Wednesday, said he sought the mandate in the 2008 assembly election on development and did not make any promise about resolving the Kashmir issue.
“I am the first chief minister who strongly campaigned for addressing the political issues of Jammu and Kashmir,” he is reported to have said.
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