Send 1st-time young stone-pelters to rehab, not jail: Rajnath Singh


In a significant outreach to Kashmiris, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that security forces have been told to send firsttime young stone-pelters to rehabilitation homes and not police lockups, as has been the case quite often in Jammu and Kashmir.

Youths under 18 booked for pelting stones are supposed to be sent to rehabilitation homes, but this rule has been regularly breached in the state.

Singh said the J&K government had been advised to review all such cases of arrest until now and take steps.

He said the crisis could be resolved through five `C’s -compassion, communication, coexistence, confidence-building and consistency -and all actions would be in sync with these five Cs. Contrary to the tough image of his government on security policy , the home minister attempted to offer comforting assurances to the people in Kashmir.

“I will come to Kashmir not five, but 50 times a year if the need arises. I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure peace and prosperity in the Valley,“ he said in Srinagar. Singh is currently on a four-day visit to Jammu & Kashmir.

“The weeping face of Zohra, who lost her father, inspector Abdul Rashid, to terrorists, hurt me deeply. I no longer want to see such heartwrenching scenes here. Let happiness return to Kashmir once again,“ Singh said.