Omar moots plan to rehabilitate stone-pelters
Following its initiative to rehabilitate militants, who want to surrender and return to Jammu and Kashmir, the state government headed by Omar Abdullah is now considering a similar proposal to rehabilitate youths who regularly indulge in stone-pelting in Srinagar.india Updated: Mar 19, 2010 20:58 IST
Following its initiative to rehabilitate militants who want to surrender and return to Jammu and Kashmir, the state government headed by Omar Abdullah is now considering a similar proposal to rehabilitate youths who regularly indulge in stone-pelting in Srinagar.
Disclosing the proposal in the state assembly on Thursday, Abdullah said, “Elders of various areas have given undertakings to the police about those arrested for the offence and the government is considering the release of stone-pelters.”
The CM said the government was considering providing stone-pelters jobs at various kinds of kiosks run by the state.
Abdullah said the government’s policy to release these youths on guarantees given by local area committees or on the basis of assurances by respected citizens of various areas was receiving a good response.
Scores of youths have pelting stones at the police and security forces in the Kashmir Valley, particularly in Srinagar, every Friday for several months now. Abdullah had earlier said that they were being masterminded from Pakistan.
Over the past week religious leaders in the Valley and the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference had called for an end to this disruptive activity, particularly after an 11-day-old infant died during a stone-pelting incident earlier this month.
The National Conference government’s proposal was criticised by the BJP and Jammu-based parties, who felt that the stone-pelters should be dealt with sternly instead of being rehabilitated.
Abdullah expressed surprise at the opposition People’s Democratic Party’s stand on stone-pelting. “Hurriyat (hardline) leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mufti Azam (the Grand Mufti of Kashmir) have condemned stone-pelting but it is astonishing that the PDP is supporting these stone-pelters,” he said.
“We have it on record that an SP (superintendent of police) of a particular area was approached by the PDP president (Mehbooba Mufti) for the release of some stone-pelters,” Abdullah said.