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Omar gives amnesty as Eid gift to stone throwers
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 28
Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today rolled out an amnesty plan for youths involved in around 1200 cases of stone throwing in the Valley last year.

“We are ready to forgive them and at the same time hope that they do not repeat the mistake again”, Omar said, adding that the amnesty would be an Eid gift to these children from his government.

He said cases against all youths arrested on charges of stone throwing during last year's disturbance will be withdrawn. “There are over 100 cases of arson and damage to public and private property. These cases won’t be withdrawn,” the Chief Minister told mediapersons.

Omar said the criminal record of the youths will be cleared and they will get another chance to build a better future. "(However,) the cut-off date is today .... and general amnesty will not be repeated,” he asserted.

The Chief Minister said his government was going to help such youths, who had been prompted by “vested interests” to disturb peace, in all possible way.

Responding to separatists’ claims on the number of those arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA), Omar said: “An impression is being created that thousands have been arrested and our jails are packed. There are 35 persons detained under the PSA and 70 others are in judicial custody.”

“They (separatists) say it was a peaceful agitation, but a lot of damage to public and private property had been caused”, said the CM.

The Chief Minister said 76 government buildings were set ablaze while 38 others were vandalised during the turmoil. Similarly, 16 private buildings were set ablaze while 18 others were damaged.

The number of government vehicles set on fire was 37 while damage was caused to 75 other government vehicles. At least 37 private vehicles were also set ablaze, Omar said.

Many waiting to shun the gun

The J&K Chief Minister said the government, under its rehabilitation policy, has received 900 applications from militants living in Pakistan or PoK expressing their willingness to return to state and lead a normal life. The state government was working out modalities with the Centre to ensure their peaceful return.





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