Row over stone-pelters' 'rehabilitation'
Islamabad, Mar 25: The Jammu and Kashmir police’s move to mend the stone-pelting youth by arranging ‘educational tours’ for them outside the state has landed up in controversy as the ‘selected’ youth allege that police was pressurising them to join the trip.
“Police has identified at least 26 stone-pelters from the main town for a tour to different metros and cosmopolitan cities of the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Goa, Jaipur and Ajmer,” sources told Greater Kashmir.
Sources said it was an attempt by the police to try and change the mindset of stone-pelters by exposing them to outside atmosphere hoping the youth would give up stone-pelting emerging as the new trend of resistance among the youth.
However some youth alleged that the police was threatening them of dire consequences in case they skip the proposed tour.
“I was summoned to the police station three times and when I refused to accept their offer, they threatened me of booking me under Public Safety Act,” said a stone-pelter who has been identified for the tour by the police. He pleaded not to be quoted fearing reprisal by the police.
Another youth said that some candidates belonging to different mainstream parties who had lost the 2009 Assembly elections were motivating the youth to participate in the tours and allegedly luring them on the pretext of jobs in police and other departments.
Though the police claim that the youth were being taken on educational tours, the youth contest it saying that only few of them are students while most are school dropouts.
“One of the youth is a baker by profession, other a domestic servant and yet another working as labourer at Maruti service station,” they said.
However police sources said the tour was a part of state government’s rehabilitation policy for the stone-pelters. “Police will be organizing the tours for the youth, who resort to stone pelting, from all the districts of the Valley and it will be kicked off from Islamabad district,” sources said.
They said that the government has already sanctioned money for conducting the tour and the arrangements had been finalized with the first team likely to leave here on March 27.
“It will be accompanied by two police officials,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Islamabad, Dr Showkat Ahmad Malik said adding that the youth were being taken on an educational tour. He termed as rumours that the youth were being threatened to join the trip.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Farooq Ahmad and Deputy Inspector General (DIG), South Kashmir, Kamal Saini refused to comment on the issue.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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