Police Preparing Pardon List Of 1st Time Offenders

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Srinagar—The Police in Kashmir Valley have begun the process of identifying the “first time” stone pelters who will be given the amnesty by the government and that the task is all set to get completed by the end of next week.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Muneer Khan said his department is busy identifying the first time stone pelters against whom cases in various at various police stations across the Kashmir Valley stand registered.

IGP said those against whom FIRs in various police stations were registered from 2010 to 2017 are being identified and a complete list of the first time stone pelters in being thoroughly complied. “The process of identifying them has already begun and we likely are going to submit the final list by the end of next week,” Khan said.

He added that the list containing the names of other details of the first time stone pelters will be sent to the police headquarters by his office wherefrom further necessary action will be initiated.

Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehboooba Mufti, who announced the amnesty last week, said that it had been made on the recommendation of the New Delhi-appointed interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma, a former intelligence chief who recently visited Kashmir for a dialogue with stakeholders in the region.

Sharma, who is currently on his second visit to Jammu and Kashmir, has been tasked with holding talks with Kashmiri leaders including separatists – a departure from the Modi government’s rigid policy in the past three years.

Meanwhile, lawyers in Kashmir say this would provide little relief to those who are facing jail for mostly minor offences committed in a period following the first wave of unrest in 2008.

“This announcement of amnesty is a drama,” Shafaqat Hussain, a lawyer who has been fighting human rights cases in Kashmir for two decades, told a foreign TV channel.

“I have handled thousands of such cases, and in my experience, most of these young people have been booked in multiple cases in multiple police stations. Even minors are not spared, they have been booked in many cases,” he said.

Hussain said that in most instances, the state fails to provide evidence and the court “honourably acquits these youngsters but it ruins their life because it takes years of trials in the court”.

“They already suffer the punishment,” he said, adding that these people are not able to get passports or jobs in government departments.

Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani called the amnesty “a mere political stunt”.

“In a bid to label those pursuing freedom as stone throwers, the authorities in New Delhi and their puppets in the state were annoyed and dejected when people vehemently took to the streets to protest against the forced occupation from 2008 to 2016,” Geelani said in a statement on Saturday.

“The cases of students and other young men will be reviewed. The process will take another five to six days to complete,” IGP Khan without disclosing how many cases are being withdrawn, said.

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