Stone Pelters Turned Cops Play Vital Role In Curbing Unrest

Stone Pelters Turned Cops Play Vital Role In Curbing Unrest

25 July 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: “Around 1000 youth mostly stone pelters who were recruited in Jammu and Kashmir Police after 2010 summer unrest played a major role in curbing the street protests in Kashmir valley following hanging of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru in February this year”, a senior police officer said here. The police officer told Excelsior that the Jammu and Kashmir Police Cadets at Manigam Police Training School in the Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal were pulled out of the training college soon after the execution of Afzal Guru in February this year and deployed at worst affected areas of Kashmir valley. “These cadets mixed with the protesters in various areas of Kashmir valley especially in downtown area of old Srinagar city and helped police in nabbing the stone pelters and curbing the unrest”, the police official said. “Since most of them were the stone pelters in 2008, 2009 and 2010 summer unrest, they had all the knowledge about the stone pelters and their tactics. We utilised their services and coupled with other measures we controlled the unrest in the aftermath of Guru’s execution in a record time”, the officer disclosed. The police officer while lauding their role and justifying their recruitment in police said that they did a good and commendable work after the execution of Guru in containing the unrest. The State Government launched an on-the-spot recruitment drive in police department in 2011 in various parts of Srinagar city and other worst affect parts Kashmir valley due to stone-pelting. Around 1000 youth, mostly stone pelters were recruited in police to curb the menace of stone pelting in 2011 and provide job opportunities for these youth who were resorting to stone pelting. The main objective of the on the spot recruitment drive was to increase the representation of the youth of Srinagar city in police so that they can deal with the unrest in their respective localities effectively. The officer said that involvement of local youth in handling the law and order is working wonders and Government this year has been able to contain law and order problems effectively particularly in the areas wherefrom these youth were drawn. However, these cadets who were drawn from stone pelters went on rampage last month in PTS Manigam Ganderbal over the delay in the conduct of their passing out parade, a ceremonial induction in the regular police force. The incident raised questions about their recruitment in police force. The officer while commenting on the rampage by the cadets said that it was an act of indiscipline that cannot be tolerated. “A departmental inquiry is going on into the incident of the rampage”, he said. The officer while hinting at the lenient view of the department over the rampage, said: “We will also have to look at the factor of inordinate delay in conduct of their passing out parade. They should have been out of the training school six months before the incident took place.”