MLA Seeks Amnesty for Stone Pelters

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Srinagar: Ruling People’s Democratic Party legislator Monday demanded amnesty for the youth who have been charged by police for stone pelting in the Valley.

Speaking during the discussion on allotment of grants for Tourism, Home and other departments held by the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, the PDP MLA from Wachi Aijaz Ahmad Mir said that the youth against whom cases of stone pelting have been registered by police should be granted amnesty by the government.

“I have personally talked to youth in Shopian who are involved in stone pelting. They have admitted to having committed mistakes, and are now ready to shun the path. I appeal the government to grant amnesty to them, so that their future is saved and they live a normal life,” Mir said.

“When I was studying in the University during 2008, I have seen how students would sometimes participate in stone pelting incidents. It is always a spar of the movement when youth get involved into such incidents.”

He said the FIRs against minors and first time stone pelters should be withdrawn.

The legislators demand come a day after the PDP-BJP government on Monday said in Upper House that it is “seriously considering” the issue and would soon come out with a policy.

“We don’t want to ruin future of these young people. We want to mend their careers,” PDP minister for rural development, law and parliamentary affairs, Abdul Haq Khan, has said on Monday while answering a query of PDP council member Yasir Reshi.

Amnesty to stone pelters was one of the main issues with which the PDP, when in opposition, would corner the NC-Congress coalition between 2008 and 2014.

The government has said that it will review the cases beginning 2008 except in case the person is involved in heinous cases of crime or is a habitual offender.

In 2011, NC-Congress government led by Omar Abdullah had granted amnesty to around 1,811 youngsters, who were allegedly involved in different cases.

Mir slammed the Opposition National Conference for failing to revoke AFSPA from the state despite their “six month” timeline assurance. “Former chief minister Omar Abdullah would repeatedly say that AFSPA would be revoked in his tenure. Even one day he said that it will go in six months. But all promises proved false,” Mir said while pointing to Opposition National Conference legislators.

“But our government will try its best to revoke AFSPA in phased manner from areas where situation has improved,” the legislator said.

Earlier in his speech NC MLA from Budgam constituency, Aga Syed Ruhullah had lashed out at the PDP-led government for failing to revoke the draconian law.

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