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J & K: CM Mehbooba Mufti orders withdrawal of cases against 4,327 stone-pelters

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today ordered the withdrawal of cases of stone-pelting against 4,327 young men.

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This follows the recommendation of a high-powered committee headed by Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid, which submitted its report to her today, an official spokesman said.

“Today’s decision marks the revival of process of withdrawal of cases started by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last year immediately after taking over,” he said.

Mufti had initiated a process of review of cases against youths from 2008 to 2014 and in the first instance 104 cases involving 634 locals were withdrawn within two months of her assuming power, the official said.

The process got disrupted due to the continued violence and unrest for later part of the last year, he added. Mufti ordered the withdrawal of cases of stone-pelting against 4,327 men in 744 cases, he said.

“With this, the total number of cases withdrawn so far on the directions of the chief minister has gone to 848 and the persons benefiting out of these withdrawals stands at 4,957,” the spokesman said.

The chief minister, it may be recalled, had committed the withdrawal of cases against youths found not involved in heinous crimes.

Mufti had recently directed review of cases from 2015 till date and decision on the same would be taken on the receipt of report by the high-powered committee, the spokesman said.

The withdrawal of cases against these youths was a major demand from various sections of the society in the state.

“The chief minister described today’s decision as a ray of hope for these young boys and their families terming it as an opportunity for them to rebuild their lives,” he said.

She hoped that the decision would help in creating a “positive and conciliatory atmosphere in the state where the youth would be able to build their lives in a more constructive and positive way”.