Tuesday, April 3, 2012

PDP trade charges on amnesty to youths

 The National Conference and People’s Democratic Party today traded charges on amnesty to Kashmiri youths, mostly the stone pelters, booked under various provisions of law in the Valley.

Raising the issue in the Legislative Assembly, PDP Legislature Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said even after the announcement of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on floor of the House announcing amnesty for 5000 stone pelters, only on Thursday 15 youth, mostly minor, were challaned in the court of law for framing charges against them.

"At least in the Assembly, the Chief Minister shouldn’t have spoken lies’’, she said.

Mehbooba said all the boys were minor and school going and their families were perturbed over police decision to produce challan against them for framing of charges.

Later, responding to the charges of Ms Mufti, Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani said the production of challan against the boys was only a legal requirement and the Chief Minister was committed to grant amnesty to youth.

He said after production of challan, the Government would approach the court for closure of cases against the boys.

Mr Wani said 407 FIRs have been selected for withdrawal under an amnesty policy for stone-pelters announced by the State Government.

"As per the amnesty (to stone-pelters involved in 2010 summer unrest) announced by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, 407 FIRs have been identified for withdrawal", he said.

Wani, who was countering the allegations levelled by Mehbooba Mufti that Government had announced amnesty to stone-pelters on one side but on the other side are prosecuting them in court, said that "for the withdrawal of FIRs, there is a legal requirement".

The Minister said that "first there is a need to present a challan (case record) in the court as per the legal requirement. It is the process of withdrawal of FIRs (against stone-pelters)".

"Till March 28, when the Chief Minister had made a statement in the House during the grants of his Home Department, 283 FIRs had been challaned (case records presented in courts) under this process for the withdrawal", Mr Wani said.

He said "other cases have also been put on fast track. We wanted to speed up the process so that those identified get honourable exit in these cases and face no problems in future".

The 15 cases which were reported in the media to have been challaned in the court and pointed out by the PDP chief are part of the same process, he said adding if there is case of any minor involved in such cases, he will have to go through the same process.

Mr Wani alleged the leader of the PDP tried to create a confusion about the amnesty policy and "they are always trying to mislead the people".

PDP MLA Zulfikar Ali, however, said the Government could grant amnesty to youth even without producing challan against them.

Earlier, four MLAs including three belonging to the PDP staged a walk-out in the Legislative Assembly during Question Hour for not being allowed to raise supplementaries to the questions.

PDP MLAs—Zahoor Ahmed Mir, Khalil Band and Mushtaq Shah and MLA Domana, Bharat Bushan staged walk-out in the Assembly during Question Hour.

While MLA Domana alleged that the Government has not given proper reply to his question on degree college, three PDP MLAs said they were not given chance to raise supplementaries.

PDP MLA Javed Mustafa Mir again raised the issue of proposed demolition of a Mosque. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said he went to the spot and had been directed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that Mosque would remain intact despite expansion plan of the area.

Javed Mir expressed gratitude to the Speaker, the Chief Minister and the Law Minister for protecting the Mosque.

Talking to reporters outside the Assembly, Mehbooba Mufti claimed that the youth of the State see their future in the PDP and feel more secure than with the Congress, the NC or the BJP.

She said, "In Jammu there is a yearning towards PDP."

Replying to a question about Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s statement projecting PDP as anti-Jammu, she said, "It is due to fear and frustration (of the growing popularity of PDP in Jammu) that we are being blamed.

"National parties are being rejected, see the fate in UP, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Bengal. Jammu has a political vacuum we are slowly trying to fill, it may not do wonders but we have made a small way out."

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