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Stone-pelters are addicts: J&K Police claim

Srinagar: Police here said that more than 70 percent people arrested in connection with stone pelting during summer unrest last year were either drug addicts or had parental problems.

“Majority of stone pelters arrested in Srinagar in the aftermath of summer unrest were either drug addicts or had parental problems”, said Syed Ashiq Bukhari, SSP Srinagar while addressing a press conference here on February 9.

The SSP added “more than 1000 stone pelters have been arrested by police, so far. Based on home work done by us, 72 percent of arrested persons were either found to be drug addicts or suffering from parental problem. This has happened mainly due to lack of proper upbringing and lack of education”.

Expressing her surprise over the statement, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on February 12 reiterated her party’s demand for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and recall of security forces to barracks.

“During summer unrest last year, 60,000-70,000 youth were involved. Going by the recent statement of police, we can say there is a huge population of drug addicts in Kashmir. It is unfortunate that our own people are defaming our youth. Initially, they were dubbed as agents of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and paid agents. Now, they’ve been referred to as drug addicts”, she said, while addressing media, here.

She stated that 3,000 youth have been put behind bars in Kashmir. “Peace should be given a chance to return to Kashmir”, said Mufti, adding “instead of removing security forces camps there are reports that new camps of Rashtriya Rifles and Special Task Force have come up at various places”.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 15

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