No Amnesty For Stone Pelting CriminalsWe have been told that stone pelters are not anti-national but just a bunch of aggrieved youth who have adopted this way of registering their protest against sundry things. The Mehbooba Mufti government even handles them with kid gloves, providing them amnesty. But isnt throwing stones a violent way of protesting and isnt violent protest a crime in India? And when the target shifts from security personnel to hapless tourists and even more hapless and scared schoolchildren, the crime becomes even more disgusting. What happened in Shopian in J&K, when stone pelters hit and injured innocent school children, has been rightly condemned by everyone including the separatist leaders. But empty words will not suffice: the stone pelting youth must be told that their unholy tactics will not be tolerated any longer. Stone pelters cannot be provided amnesty.
By Sunil Garodia
It had been reported that Kashmiri youths were being lured into the stone pelting profession (yes, it has turned into that) by being offered wages for the work from the funds being pumped in from across the border. Most of the protests are not spontaneous expression of anguish but planned and orchestrated events. The targets are well chosen for maximum publicity. Those who recruited the youths to pelt stones on the school bus knew the kind of impact it will have. Ostensibly, the bus was attacked as the school chose to defy a bandh call given by separatists. But in reality, they do not want children to be given modern education as it will take them away from the cause.
It is also a warning by the anti-national elements that from now onwards even children will not be spared. This is what happens when we treat perpetrators of crime with soft hands. They first used to pelt stones at security forces. Tourists at Anantnag came next and now school children. Every unpunished act of theirs emboldens them and their masters to try fancier things. Hence Mufti must ensure that the current culprits are punished and a message is sent out that no further amnesty will be granted to stone pelters.