Govt planning to officially pardon stone-pelters, but is that the solution?


Srinagar, June 21: One can recall that in the year 2011, the Omar Abdullah Government had granted general amnesty to 1811 youths.

The stone pelting has not stopped or else the newspapers have plain lied for half a decade since 2011.

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The present government yesterday said it is “actively considering” the plan to grant amnesty to those youths who are involved in stone-throwing but are willing to abandon the path of violence.

“We are actively considering the plan to grant amnesty to those youths who are not involved in heinous offences. We will not destroy their future and we have to take care of these youths,” said Minister for Law, Abdul Haq Khan, in Legislative Council.

He was replying to a supplementary raised by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) legislator, Yasir Reshi, in Upper House on behalf of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who also holds the portfolio of Home Department. Earlier, Reshi had asked whether the Government plan general pardon to the youth involved in stone-pelting during previous National Conference-Congress regime ‘so that they have a chance to make their future’.

“We are trying to do it (grant amnesty) as soon as possible… We are looking into the cases of those youths who are not involved in heinous crimes or are habitual stone-pelters and want to live peacefully,” said the Minister.

But have not things gotten worse? The one thing that Omar Abdullah govt actively tried working on was provide jobs and the year 2013-14 saw a bumper crop of jobs. The present regime has not been able to achieve much on employment front anyway.

When they are jobless and are allegedly paid per day to throw stones, how will granting them amnesty serve anything? They were never looking for the government’s official pardon in the first place.