GoI to drop cases against 4,500 stone pelters on Sharma’s recommendation

GoI to drop cases against 4,500 stone pelters on Sharma’s recommendation
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New Delhi: Taking forward the suggestion made by the government of India’s special representative, Dineshwar Sharma, over 4,500 cases against youths involved for the first time in stone pelting will be dropped in a bid to win hearts in the Kashmir Valley, officials said.
Sharma, who visited the Valley earlier this month, was flooded with requests from various individuals and groups for withdrawing cases against youths booked by the police for indulging in stone pelting.
Over 11,500 cases against stone pelters were registered from July last year when uprising broke out in Kashmir following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter, they said.
Of these, over 4,500 cases were registered against youths who were found indulging in stone pelting for the first time, the officials said.
When contacted, Sharma refused to comment on the development but said, “My attempt was to change the narrative in the state to peace and for that I need support of youths and students.”
The officials said that after seeing the response to the step, New Delhi was keen to review the remaining cases against stone pelters in consultation with the PDP-BJP government.
The government of India may also consider rehabilitating locals who have joined militant groups but have not indulged in any heinous crime, they said.
Sharma found residents in the Valley facing the problem of electricity shortage, especially during winters, and therefore an additional 300 mega watts of power will be provided to Kashmir this year.
Attempts are being made to ensure round-the-clock electricity supply by the beginning of winter next year, the officials said, adding that talks are being held with the Power ministry for implementing this project.
The government will also enhance compensation to policemen killed during encounters. At present, the family of a local policeman killed in the line of duty gets Rs 40 lakh.
The decisions were considered to be part of discussions held by Sharma during his visit to the Valley for talking with all stakeholders.
All these issues were discussed in detail recently at the core group on Kashmir, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the officials said.
The state government is expected to take the initiatives according to the suggestions of the Modi-led government.
Besides Sharma, top officials of the ministries of home and defence and the chiefs of intelligence agencies also attended the meeting. PTI


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