Srinagar: Kashmir range Inspector General (IG) of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Ravideep Sahi said on Saturday that the general amnesty announced by Jammu and Kashmir government to first-time stone-pelters in Kashmir was a “large-hearted” step.
“It will encourage people to shun the path of violence,” Sahi told reporters at the TRC ground where the final match of an inter-district football tournament was held today.
“Many a time, some people commit mistakes for the first time, but this is a good opportunity to correct them,” he said. “These people should utliise this opportunity and use their energies in a positive way.”
Soon after Government of India’s (GoI’s) special representative on J&K, Dineshwar Sharma, submitted his first report to the Home Ministry, the amnesty to at least 4,500 “first-time stone-pelters” in Kashmir was announced by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Sahi said he was not aware whether these first-time stone-pelters will be rehabilitated as well. “But 4,500 first-time stone-pelters are being given amnesty and we believe it is a good step,” he said.
Sahi said that government forces have been persistently following the policy to “wean off the Kashmiri youth from militancy”.
“It is a good trend that some have (left militancy) joined back (their families),” he replied to a question on the reported return of some Kashmiri militants to their homes.
Sahi claimed that government forces have achieved a “major success in making Kashmiri militants leave this path”. “It is a good opportunity for those who commit this mistake to join back the mainstream,” he said.
“It is surely a setback for LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba) and Jaish-e-Muhammad as they would not like such a thing to happen,” he said. “But the government forces are ready to face any such challenge.”
The IGP said he was not aware of how many local youth have left militancy and joined back their families.
Replying to questions on the killing of a young woman, Beauty Jan, in alleged firing by government forces on protestors near a gunfight site in Shopian a few days ago, Sahi said that people “need to follow the rule of law to avoid such killings”.
“Rule of law is very important. Once restrictions have been imposed in the area, it becomes imperative on the citizen to follow the instructions. Now, if the rule of law is not being followed and if somebody comes out knowing that an encounter is going on, that bullets are flying all over, there is a chance that it may hit somebody,” Sahi said, adding, “Forces always maintain a lot of restraint.”