Abdullah Seeks Amnesty For Stone-pelters

29 May 2014
Deccan Herald


Srinagar: After a drubbing in recent Lok Sabha elections, the National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah on Thursday advocated a general amnesty for stone-pelters, against whom cases are lodged in various police stations across Kashmir. 'Today, I met youth who, were involved in stone pelting. They told me there are FIRs against them which should be withdrawn. They need to be given some sort of general amnesty,' Abdullah, who met a delegation of stone-throwers at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subah here, said. 'Youth are our backbone. They are the future of Kashmir. They said their life has become hell and I want them to live a happy life,' he said. Official figures suggest that around 600 youth were rounded up in the run up to the polls. More than 1,300 youth in the Valley face charges of rioting and stone pelting since 2010. The National Conference chief refused to comment on the statement of Union Minister of State in the PMO, Jitendra Singh, over Article 370. 'I have never said Kashmir will go if Article 370 is revoked. Kashmir is part of India. Don't put words in my mouth,' he said adding that he doesn't want to say anything more on the issue. The former Union Minister, who is also father of state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, said the National Conference has not taken any decision on continuing the alliance with the Congress for the forthcoming Assembly elections. 'No decision has been taken on that. When the time comes, we will take a decision,' Abdullah said. Earlier, while addressing the party youth wing leaders, he said Jammu & Kashmir had survived numerous conspiracies and ploys to dilute its unique constitutional status. 'National Conference will never allow the apologetic proxies of communal parties to divide the people of this state for their short-term, electoral and political gains,' Abdullah said.