Police Says 53 Youth Detained

Police Says 53 Youth Detained

16 February 2013
Greater Kashmir
Shabir ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: Police Saturday said that they have arrested 53 alleged stone throwers and other trouble makers in last some days from different pockets of the valley, while as Minister of State (MoS) for Home has said that the arrested youth would be released shortly. However, reports from across the valley have suggested that around 200 persons have been taken into preventive custody by police during the past few days. “The police have arrested 53 stone-pelters and other trouble makers from different districts of the valley,” a police spokesman said here. Giving the break up, the spokesman said that 13 have been arrested from Srinagar, eight from Baramulla, 15 from Sopore, eight from Anantnag, three from Pulwama and six from Budgam. However, according to reports, around 200 youth have been detained across the valley since last Saturday. The arrests have created panic among the people especially the youth who have started going into hiding following the widespread police raids. Reports further said that most of the youth have been arrested from Srinagar, Baramulla, Pulwama, Budgam and Anantnag districts. Among the arrested are youth who were allegedly involved in stone throwing and disruption of peace during 2008 and 2010 unrests. Police sources said the arrests were being made as a preventive measure and no cases have been registered against the detainees. Some of the parents have said that their wards were called to police stations and later put behind the bars without any provocation. The spokesman also clarified that the police post in Aloosa area of Bandipora was not torched, but was attacked by the people. “Some miscreants attacked the post, but police exercised maximum restraint and repulsed the miscreants. There was however, some minor damage to the post,” the spokesman said. Meanwhile, dismissing reports that curfew was re-imposed in several parts of the Srinagar city and other areas, Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo said the situation across the valley remained under control ‘baring few stray incidents’. “No curfew was imposed anywhere in the valley. These reports are baseless. Leaving minor incidents here and there, overall situation remained peaceful”, Kichloo told local news gathering agency KNS. He said no major untoward incident was reported from any part of the valley. Regarding detention of hundreds of youth by police across the valley, the minister assured that the youth would be released as soon as the situation improves. “These (arrests) are a part of precautionary measures and the youth will be released shortly. We hope the situation improves soon so that they could be released”, the minister added. Kichloo denied reports that restrictions had been placed on movement of the family members of Afzal Guru. “There are no restrictions on movement of family members and many people have been visiting them. Nobody was stopped from visiting the family”, the minister added. However, he said police personnel deployed in the area were meant to prevent any untoward incidents ‘as a precautionary measure’.