Srinagar: Shakir Khan, 24, was booked under a stone pelting case in 2010. Since then, he has been moving from pillar to post to get himself absolved from the charges and continue his education.
Despite, announcement of general amnesty to stone pelters by the Omar Abdullah-led NC Congress government in 2011, the police didn’t withdraw the case against Khan.
He had to even give up his engineering seat at a polytechnic college in Ladakah after police didn’t provide him a clearance.
“It was for the first and last time when I protested in 2010. Soon after the normalcy returned in 2010, I was booked in stone pelting case. Since then I went from pillar to post to beg for the withdrawal of case but nobody listened to my pleas,” Khan said. He works as a salesman on a shop in Lal Chowk now.
Like Khan, dozens of youth in Kashmir are facing stone-pelting cases and are spending their valuable time in courts and police stations.
“I had to leave my studies because I could not attend my classes in higher secondary. Also, to escape regular summons to police stations, I had to bribe the policemen,” said another youth of Chanpora locality of Srinagar.
Former CM Omar Abdullah announced general amnesty scheme for youths involved in over 1,200 cases of stone-pelting in the Valley during 2010 summer unrest.
“We have decided to give the youths a second chance. Cases against all the youths arrested on charges of stone-pelting, but not involved in arson, registered during last year’s disturbance will be withdrawn,” Omar had said.
Despite, then government’s approval to withdraw stone pelting cases against all the youths in 2010, the police have not completed the process.
“I have to present myself before the court as my FIRs has not been withdrawn despite general amnesty announced by the Omar Abdullah,” said another youth.
He said that the amnesty announced by the PDP-BJP government for first time stone pelters is farce. “First, government should withdraw cases against us then take up cases of 2016,” he said.
However, officials said all the cases were withdrawn after Omar Abdullah announced general amnesty for stone pelters of 2010. Giving an example, he said in Maisuma locality of Srinagar 15 youth were booked in stone-pelting in two separate FIRs, which were withdrawn under government order.