Mehbooba orders review of cases filed against youth

Praises GoI’s commitment to ‘change narrative in J&K and create a reconciliatory atmosphere for sustained dialogue’

Jammu, Publish Date: Nov 23 2017 11:46PM | Updated Date: Nov 24 2017 1:45AM
Mehbooba orders review of cases filed against youthFile Photo

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday ordered review of cases filed against youth in the past three years to “create a positive and conciliatory atmosphere in the state and help them rebuild their lives in a much more constructive and positive way.”

A government spokesman said that Mehbooba ordered the review of cases (for the period 2015-2017 till date) by an already-constituted committee which shall furnish its recommendations within 10 days.

The committee is the same constituted earlier by the Chief Minister to review cases against youth from 2008-2014, a government order issued Thursday, read.

In a series of tweets, the Chief Minister wrote on her Twitter handle: “It gives me immense satisfaction to restart the process of withdrawing FIRs against first time offenders of stone pelting. My government had initiated the process in May 2016 but it was unfortunately stalled due to the unrest later that year.”

“This confidence building measure reaffirms the central government’s commitment towards changing the narrative in J&K and creating a reconciliatory atmosphere for sustained dialogue,” she wrote. “It is encouraging that the interlocutor has started on a positive note. His recommendations are being taken seriously by both the central and state government.”

Police have booked thousands of youth on charges of stone-pelting or participating in street protests in the past three years. Hundreds of them were booked under the Public Safety Act following huge escalation in protests across Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in July 2016, leading to a massive crackdown by the police on youth and organisers of freedom rallies.

Quoting officials, a PTI report this week said that more than 11,500 cases against stone pelters were registered from July last year and of these, more than 4500 cases were registered against youth who were found indulging in stone pelting for the first time.

The report, quoting the officials, further said that taking forward the suggestion of “special representative” on Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma, over 4500 cases against youth involved in stone pelting for the first time will be dropped “in a bid to win hearts” in Kashmir.

The review of cases against these youth was a major demand from various sections of the society in the state who would heave a sigh of relief after this decision, the J&K government spokesman said on Thursday.

“Soon after assuming the office of Chief Minister in April 2016, Mehbooba Mufti had started the process to review cases filed against youth from 2008 to 2014 which, unfortunately, got disrupted due to the continued violence and unrest for later part of the year,” the spokesman said, adding that the Chief Minister described today’s decision as a “ray of hope for these young boys and their families and termed it as an opportunity for them to rebuild their lives.”

She hoped that the decision would “help in creating a positive and conciliatory atmosphere in the state where the youth would be able to build their lives in a much more constructive and positive way.”


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