Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to move all juveniles, arrested for pelting stones and other unlawful activities, from jails to remand homes and review their cases sympathetically, officials said. The decision is considered to be an attempt to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir by the central government after the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as the Centre’s special representative to initiate talks with all stakeholders. The issue was discussed in detail at Wednesday’s meeting of the core group on Kashmir, chaired by the union home minister and attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, where it was decided to ask the Jammu and Kashmir government to work on the cases of juveniles. After the core group meeting, the Jammu and Kashmir government has been asked to shift all juveniles, who were arrested for pelting stones and other crimes, to remand homes and review their cases sympathetically, a home ministry, privy to the development, told PTI.
The state government is expected to take the initiative to shift the juveniles to remand homes and review their cases soon, the official said. Top officials of ministries of home and defence, chiefs of intelligence agencies, besides Sharma also attended the meeting. The Centre’s special representative also briefed the union home minister and others about his first round of talks he had with various sections of the society there last week. Sharma will again visit the state soon to continue his mission of holding a sustained dialogue process. However, the anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir will go on even though the central government has appointed the special representative to initiate talks with all stakeholders in an effort to bring a lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir with violence by Pakistan-based militants groups continuing unabated.
Director General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir S P Vaid had recently said that around 170 militants were gunned down by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir this year. Two Army soldiers were killed and a CRPF jawan suffered injuries in an encounter in Pulwama district of the state on November 2. Three militants were gunned down in Pulwama in an encounter in which an Army jawan was also killed on November 6. Three militants, including Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar’s nephew, were gunned down by security forces in Pulwama district on November 7.