The police on Sunday said that after the “general amnesty” granted to over 4,000 “first-time offenders” in Kashmir, the cases of 5,500 youth are under review by a committee constituted to withdraw the charges against them.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of New Year, director general of police SP Vaid said that in 2008-2009, 634 youth were granted the general amnesty.
“Similarly, charges were dropped against 4,327 youth against whom there were cases filed from 2010 to 2014,” he said.
Vaid said that there are 5,500 cases of youth who were “involved in various offences” in 2016-2017 under review by the committee authorised to grant amnesty to first-time offenders.
“The committee is headed by me and we will examine each case and accordingly recommend the amnesty,” he said.
The police chief was flanked by Kashmir range inspector general of police, Muneer Khan.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last month announced general amnesty to all first-time stone-pelters and the police started the process from the year 2008 when Kashmir erupted over transfer of state land to the Amarnath shrine board.
’24 CIVILIANS KILLED AT GUNFIGHT SITES’
To a query about the number of civilian killings at sites of gunfights in Kashmir this year, Muneer Khan said that 24 civilians “died at the encounter sites in cross-firing.”
“This happened because we (forces) decided to enter into areas where there used to be resistance by the people to anti-militancy operations,” he said.
Asked whether the police also advocate a political initiative like the one suggested by some top army commanders, Khan said: “We are not politicians and can’t advocate any political initiative.”
Some army commanders had few months back opined that since the “back of militancy stands broken, it is time for a political sagacity” in Kashmir.
Asked whether recruitment of local youth into militancy continued to be a challenge for the police, Khan said that forces targeted the leadership of militants “deliberately to bring down local recruitments.”
“The militant commander killed at Samboora recently, identified as Noor Muhammad Trali, was the brain behind local recruitments into militancy. He had been luring youth into Jaish-e-Muhammad,” he said.
‘OPERATION ALL-OUT NOT ONLY ABOUT KILLINGS’
About the “operation all-out”, the director general of police Vaid said that 206 militants were killed this year that includes 121 foreign and 85 local.
“There is a misconception about operation all-out which needs to be cleared. The operation was launched not only to kill militants but also to bring them back into mainstream,” he said. “This year, while we killed 206 militants, we brought 75 youth, who had either joined or were about to join the militancy, back. Apart from this, seven youth, who had picked up arms, were brought back due to the support their families extended to us,” Vaid said.
He said that “operation all-out” is actually a “multi-pronged strategy” to ensure peaceful Kashmir.
Asked whether the police were going slowly in trapping militant commander Zakir Musa, the DGP said that “whosoever has picked up arms is anti-national and the police will go against every such person.”
ON CURBING DRUG ABUSE
Vaid said that the police have launched a “war” against drug peddlers across the state.
“We arrested 16 notorious drug peddlers and booked them under Public Safety Act. 18 criminals were also booked under PSA. In some Jammu areas, criminals were found to be drug peddlers also,” he said. “In total, 1,213 persons involved in various offences were also arrested while 888 cases were registered.”
ON FIGHTING CRIME AGAINST WOMEN
The DGP said that 3,168 FIRs were registered against persons involved in crimes against women in 2017, compared to 2739 such cases filed in 2016.
“Upto November 2017, 3415 person were arrested. Six women police stations are already working while four police stations have been sanctioned recently for Pulwama, Kupwara, Kathua and Doda,” he said. “150 lady constables have been deputed to strengthen the women’s police stations. More posts have been sanctioned.”
‘RECORD PASSPORT VERIFICATIONS CLEARED’
The J&K police chief said that a record number of passport verifications was completed in 2017.
“130011 passport verifications were completed in 2017 while 2163 LoC permits were also cleared, besides 369 trade verifications done,” he said