Srinagar, Nov 23: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has announced withdrawals of cases against first-time stone-pelters or offenders in Kashmir valley.
The development comes just a day after centre advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to withdraw cases against about 4500 youth, who are first-time offenders or stone-pelters. The advised was given by the centre on the recommendations of centre-appointed interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma.
The move also hold significance as it comes just a day before Sharma is set to hold second round of talks to restore peace in the state. The former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief’s maiden visit to the valley early this month after being appointed as interlocutor for the state could not break ice as majority of the business community, separatists and civil society remained away.
However, Jammu-based National Panthers Party (NPP) has criticized the move by the government.
“It gives me immense satisfaction to restart the process of withdrawing FIRs against first time offenders of stone pelting. My government had initiated the process in May, 2016 but it was unfortunately stalled due to the unrest later that year,” Mehbooba wrote on micro-blogging site twitter late on Wednesday night.
Mehbooba said this Confidence Building Measure (CBM) reaffirms the Central government’s commitment towards changing the narrative in Jammu and Kashmir and creating a reconciliatory atmosphere for sustained dialogue.
“It is encouraging that the interlocutor has started on a positive note. His recommendations are being taken seriously by both the Central & State government,” she said.
“It is a ray of hope for these young boys and their families. This initiative will provide them an opportunity to rebuild their lives,” she added.