Police launches ‘operation counseling’

Srinagar: The Kashmir Police has embarked on a carrot-and-stick method to contain angry youth in the Valley’s volatile parts, arresting them in bulk and releasing ‘first-timers’ after the purported counseling, which is mostly conducted by the senior police officials.

Amid shutdown and possibility of a flare-up, Sopore Police on Thursday released at least14 alleged stone throwers, officials said adding they were duly counseled before being set free. The call for shutdown was sponsored by chairman Syed Ali  Geelani who had earlier threatened to launch a phased movement against random arrests.

The volatile Sopore and other adjacent towns such as Baramulla and Bandipora had witnessed fierce clashes between police and stone-throwing youth, injuring hundreds.

A GNS report Thursday said Police organized a meet with parents of the detained ‘first-time’ stone throwers. “During the meeting the parents and the youth gave written assurances in which they made it clear that they won’t throw stones or indulge in any violent activity against police,” the reports said.

The GNS report, quoting an unnamed police official, said that the eighteen youth arrested during  the crackdown had actually informed police about at least 38 others who were subsequently charged. The official, according to the agency report, said, “We didn’t arrest 38 youth but they surrendered before us Thursday morning.” The official said these stone throwers have been counseled as they were ‘first-time offenders’. “They gave us written assurance and we released them and also exempted them from charges,” he added.

“We have counseled these boys and told them not to destroy their careers. We have requested their parents to keep an eye on their children and make them understand the importance of peace,” Superintendent of Police Sopore, Abdul Qayoom, who was present on the occasion, told reporters. “We will see to what extent our efforts will bear fruits in future but I am hopeful,” he added.

The parents of released boys said that they will keep an eye on their wards and would ‘try their best’ to stop them from pelting stones.

Senior police officials, village heads and prominent citizens were also present on the occasion, the agency reports said.

Meanwhile, police said that at least six ‘stone-pelters’ who were evading arrests surrendered before police at Hajin Sonawari area of Bandipore district.

Police identified these youth as Manzoor Ahmad Dar son of Sonaullah Dar, Ghulam Jeelani Dar son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Dar, Mumtaz Ahmad Dar son of Farooq Ahmad Dar, Abdul Hamid Rather son of Sonaullah Rather, Showkat Ahmad Khan son of Mohammad Yousuf Khan and Azhar-ud-din Dar son of Mohammad Akbar residents of Shah Gund, Hajin. Meanwhile, [olice has started a manhunt for the ‘stone pelters’ and other ‘trouble mongers’ in the area.

Authorities on Thursday said that a ‘would-be-bridegroom’ was arrested in accordance with the law and the police did not dishonor the court orders.

A CNS report quoted an unnamed police official as said, “Feroz Ahmed Magray, who is in police custody in Bandipora, was once released after the intervention of some respectable people of the area. We once released him after respectable citizens assured us that Feroz will mend his ways and will never indulge in any illegal activity.”

“In Feroz’s case we did what law permits us to do. He is not only involved in stone pelting but also used to run fake accounts on social networking sites to spread rumors,” the police official  said adding that in March and April this year 3 FIR’s were lodged against Feroz Ahmed Magray for his involvement in violent activities.

The police official further claimed that the accused is only getting engaged next month and “there is no marriage angle”. “We called the printer to police station and he confirmed to us that family advised him to publish only 10 cards,” police official said adding that they will take a decision soon whether to release him or not.

Pertinently local residents Wednesday had staged a protest in Nowpora Chowk of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district demanded release of Feroz Ahmed Magray who, according to his family, has been illegally detained by police despite bail by the court.

In the mean time, Police claims that the young boy from Shopian Faisal Mir alias “Chotta Geelani”, who was arrested on Wednesday, requires de-addiction and counseling. “We will provide counseling and de-addiction support to Faisal Ahmed Mir aka Chotta Geelani”

A police handout said that Shopian police arrested the stone pelter Faisal Ahmed Mir resident of Bonabazar Shopian from Zavoora village. Faisal Mir is involved in a number of cases of stone pelting in Shopian and various other violent activities. The said individual is reported to have developed habit of drug addiction.

Agencies, quoting officials, reported that Inspector General of Police A G Mir has directed Kashmir Police to arrange for “Faisal’s counseling and de-addiction free of cost so that he comes out of the menace.”


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