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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Stone protests bigger issue than militancy: Kashmir police chief defends use of ‘lawless law’ PSA

Stating that stone pelting is a bigger issue than militancy, Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that anyone who indulges in stone-throwing will be slapped with Public Safety Act.

The controversial PSA which allows detention without trial has been described as a lawless law by the human rights group.

“Stone pelting is a larger issue than militancy. It creates a negative impact and if stone-pelting takes place, that keeps tourists away. Anybody who indulges in stone-pelting will be slapped with PSA,” he said in reply to a query whether those who throw stones will be booked under PSA.

In the mid of February, this year, police had arrested at least 39 people for holding a demonstration in Srinagar Jamia Masjid and the police chief has said that 15 among the arrested will be booked under PSA.

The IGP Kashmir said that a wrong impression is being created that stone-pelting takes place at the encounter sites. “No youth from adjoining villages comes to pelt stones at the encounter site. The fact is that when we ask the civilian population to come out after it is proved that militants are hiding in a particular house, some miscreants resort to stone pelting at times,” he said.

“To deal with them, PSA will be slapped.”

He said that the summer strategy is already in place that includes setting up fresh checkpoints, frisking, and deployment of extra troops. “Our priority apart from the Amarnath pilgrimage is to ensure schools, colleges remain open and tourists arrive in large numbers,” the IGP said.

He said drugs are a big issue and that it has been proven that the neighbouring country is sending narcotics through LoC, International Border and even through Nepal border. “We appeal to parents to keep a close watch on their children and if they spot their wards indulging in drugs, they should take them to the police drug de-addiction centre for treatment and counselling,” the IGP said. “This is a social evil and we all must put our heads together to stop it.”

He said even media men should help us in dealing with this menace. “We don’t want media men to become our informers, but they should help us in eradicating drug abuse from Kashmir as it is eating our young generation.”

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