Youth facing stone-pelting charges protest in Anantnag

  • Remind Mufti of his election manifesto, demand withdrawal of cases against them

ANANTNAG: Scores of youth facing charges of stone-pelting on Saturday held protests outside the court complex in this south Kashmir town. Dozens of youth from different localities, accompanied by their relatives, assembled outside the district court complex and staged a demonstration.
Carrying placards, the protesting youth and their relatives asked the state government to withdraw cases against them. They reminded CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of his election manifesto in which he had promised to withdraw cases against youth facing charges of stone-pelting. “We have to appear before the court twice or thrice a week in connection with cases registered against us by the police. All this is affecting our mental and physical health. We ask the chief minister to fulfill his promise of withdrawing cases against stone-pelters,” they told reporters.
An alleged stone-pelter Asif, who was a part of the protest, said that more than a dozen cases have been registered against him in different police stations: “I am working as a salesman to support my family. But due to the regular court hearings I have to spend half of the month in the court which is not only affecting my livelihood but my mental health as well.”
Another protestor said that most of the youth against whom cases have been registered hail from poor families. “Some of us either work as salesmen or run roadside stalls, and the court hearings badly affect our livelihood. The CM, who also represents this constituency, should follow up on what he promised during the election campaigning,” he said.