‘Kashmiri Stone-pelters booked must not go scot-free’

BK Online Srinagar
February 20, 2018 BREAKING NEWS 208 Views
‘Kashmiri Stone-pelters booked must not go scot-free’

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court (SC) urging it to stay the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government to withdraw cases against 9,730 people involved in stone-pelting against the Army.

“They are serious law breakers and need to be dealt with in a serious manner. The move of the government to let them go scot-free will further embolden them to repeat such unlawful activities and also demoralise the Indian Army,” said the petition filed by advocate Vineet Dhanda on Monday.

Mehbooba Mufti had taken the decision on February 3. Around 9,730 stone-pelters between 2008 and 2017, including several first timers, are the beneficiaries.

The government action to withdraw 1,745 cases out of it is subject to “certain conditions” is based on recommendations of a committee constituted to look into the matter, Mufti had said.

“We will take it up along with the main petition,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra told advocate J P Dhanda, who mentioned the petition seeking a stay on the decision to withdraw cases against the stone-pelters.

“Grant exparte ad-interim stay of the order of withdrawal of the cases against 9,730 people involved in stone-pelting incidents, including first-time offenders, between 2008-2017 as stated by the chief minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti,” said the petition adding, “The move to withdraw the cases proves the fact that the state government is not serious against such offenders.”

It is to be noted that on February 13, while hearing a petition filed by Dhanda relating to the FIR filed by the J&K government against Major Aditya Kumar, the bench had for the first time agreed to examine and help find answers to some contentious issues raging in the strife-torn J&K.

The FIR was in connection with the killing of two civilians in Shopian on January 27 during a stone-pelting incident.

The contentious issues are – Is the state government justified in initiating criminal proceedings against Army personnel for bona fide action in discharge of their duties or in his self-defence? Is it true that such an action will affect their morale and weaken the war against terrorism and other form of violence? Is it wrong on the part of the Mehbooba Mufti-led government to withdraw cases against 9,730 people involved in stone-pelting incidents?

The plea had also sought SC to direct the Centre for constituting an expert panel for conducting inquiry before any case is lodged against Army personnel in future.

It also sought a direction for an inquiry by a sitting high court judge into the FIR.

The SC bench has sought the assistance of Attorney General KK Venugopal to decide these complicated issues, besides seeking the view of the Centre and J&K government.

Two civilians were killed allegedly when Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob in Ganovpora village in Shopian, prompting the state to order an inquiry into the incident.(India Today)


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