Less than a week after Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in a landmark move, said cases against minors for ‘stone pelting’ in Jammu and Kashmir have been withdrawn, a parliamentarian of his own party said “stone pelters should be shot dead.”
“I read about the withdrawal of cases against stone-pelters but I think those pelting stones should be shot dead,” BJP Rajya Sabha member DP Vats, told news agency ANI on Monday.
Mr Vats’ remark goes against the centre’s major outreach efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, in the backdrop of the truce move, when the home minister announced unilateral ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan.
On June 7, Mr Singh, who was on a two-day visit to the state to review the security situation had said “children make mistakes” and cases against all of them who have been involved in ‘stone pelting’ for the first time will be withdrawn.
Rajnath Singh in Srinagar said children are easily misguided, pardoned minor stone-pelters
Speaking at the sports conclave in Srinagar, Mr Singh said, “In Delhi, I met Afshan Ashiq (Kashmiri Footballer) and she told me that she had been part of stone pelting incidents earlier, but ever since she got into sports, her life turned around…children can be misguided easily but we know the truth that is why we have withdrawn all stone-pelting cases against them.”
“Withdrawal of cases registered against first-time offenders between 2008-2017, on the basis of recommendations of the committee constituted by the government has been approved,” minister in Mehbooba Mufti’s cabinet, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said, adding that these include 61 First Information Reports involving 530 persons in Shopian.
Mr Hanjura also told the media that 4,066 FIRs have been registered against 14,208 ‘stone pelters’ during the last three years in Jammu and Kashmir.