Centre suggests ‘massive amnesty’ for first time offenders in Valley
SRINAGAR, Nov 21: New Delhi has suggested a “massive amnesty” to Kashmiri youth who have been “first-time offenders” during law and order problems in the valley.
A top official of the Ministry of Home Affairs said New Delhi has told the state government to consider “releasing the first-time offenders involved in law and order situation and withdraw cases against them”.
The official said the government of India believed that “misguided youth” of JK, who became the first offenders in the recent law and order situation “because of prevailing circumstances”, need a chance to “rebuild their career”.
“They need to participate in job opportunities rather than being labeled as criminals for their entire life,” the official said, quoting official details from the MHA.
The suggested measures, according to sources, are likely to be announced by New Delhi’s representative to JK Dineshwar Sharma during his visit to the state later this month.
This would give a major relief to thousands of youth faces charges of involvement in stone pelting since the last year’s unrest.
The official said the MHA has decided to increase ex-gratia relief to Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel to make it at par with the Central Armed Police Forces, who lose their lives in combat with militants.
“Now, it will be Rs 30 lakh to JK Police Personnel in cases where death occurs while performing duties in combatting militants or anti-social elements. Rs 18 lakh will be given from the state budget of JK and additional Rs 12 lakh will be reimbursed by MHA,” the official said.
Jammu and Kashmir police personnel have been at the forefront of the anti-militant operations along with the CAPF and the army.
They have been demanding ex-gratia at par with CAPF.
“Similarly, the active role being played by the special police officers in combating militancy, their ex-gratia relief is being enhanced from Rs 2 lakh to 5 lakh. The entire amount will be reimbursed to the state government by the MHA,” the official said.
The official said the centre has also decided that MHA will reimburse the expenditure incurred by the state government for providing relief to people affected by cross-border firing at rates matching NDRF guidelines.
Due to intermittent ceasefire violations and cross border firing, the people living in border areas have been suffering unexpected losses in terms of damaged houses, agriculture, and livestock.