7,000 youth detained in 4 months last year, says police

More than 7000 youth were detained from July to October last year and a majority of them were released “after quality counseling,” police officials said on Saturday.
7,000 youth detained in 4 months last year, says police
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More than 7000 youth were detained from July to October last year and a majority of them were released "after quality counseling," police officials said on Saturday.

A senior police officer told Greater Kashmir that over 7000 youth were detained from July 8 to October 31, 2016 and majority of them were released after completion of formalities. 

"All of them received proper counselling through our experts and (they) pledged not to indulge in creating law and order problems again," the police officer, posted in old Srinagar, said. 

He said in Srinagar district, majority of youth detained on charges of stone-pelting and participating in street protests following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 last year, "went through several rounds of counselling in police stations and most of them agreed that they won't indulge in stone pelting again."

"We called the parents of these youth to police stations and sought their cooperation. We received a good support from them. Very few youth are still under detention in old Srinagar police stations," the officer, wishing not to be quoted by name, said. 

He said some detained youth were also "found facing psychological problems like family related tensions." 

"We invited doctors from the Police Hospital and provided them quality counselling," he said.

Another police officer said they withdrew multiple FIRs against youth involved in stone-pelting and "kept only one case against them intact."

"We told the parents of the youth that their children have multiple cases against them and can be booked in more than one case. We took a lenient view of the multiple cases against youth and made them understand the repercussions of having more than one FIR against them," the officer said.  

The parents of the youth, he said, brought bail from the court after which the youth were released. 

"In old Srinagar, there are still some youth lodged in police stations and are facing trial in various courts. They are obviously facing serious charges like attacking police stations, damaging police vehicles and beating cops during protests," he said.  

As per the rough estimates, more than 436 youth were detained from Srinagar district alone and majority of them stand released on bail and after the cops sought an undertaking from their parents.

Similar procedure was followed in rest of the districts including those in South Kashmir. However, in South Kashmir districts, many elderly people including religious clerics and leaders of Hurriyat were booked under PSA.

In the State Legislature, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently said 370 people were detained under Public Safety Act while 138 youth were detained in other cases.

Director General of Police Dr S P Vaid said that police has already released majority of the youth detained last year. "We took a most lenient view and released the youth on humanitarian grounds. We want our youth to shine in various fields. We are still reviewing the cases of those still lodged in various police stations," he said.  He said all those detained on charges of stone-pelting received counselling. 

"Cases of those still under detention will also be reviewed," he said.

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