Government enforcing bullet for stones policy in Kashmir: Opposition

Jammu, Feb 22 (Calcutta Tube) Jammu and Kashmir’s main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Monday accused Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of enforcing a ‘bullet for stone’ policy in dealing with the law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley.

The PDP leader said that it was for the first time that any state government had resorted to such a ‘brutal’ policy, where protesters throwing stones were being met with bullets in the streets of Kashmir.

‘We had heard of bullet for bullet policy, but it is for the first time that we are seeing bullet for stone policy. That’s unheard of,’ Mehbooba told reporters after coming out of the state legislature, where she raised the issue of human rights violations and alleged that innocents were being killed.

The state assembly began its budget session in this winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir Monday.

She justified the anger of people who threw stones at security personnel in the Valley, saying: ‘People are angry with this government because it has failed in delivering the promises it had made to the people.’

Mehbooba warned that such a policy would ‘further alienate the youth of Kashmir’.

The PDP leader said that it was unfortunate that the government instead of ‘mending its ways’ was trying to suppress the voice on streets with ‘brutality’.

In some cases, the Jammu and Kashmir government has slapped charges under the Public Safety Act (PSA) against stone-throwers. Under PSA, a person can be detained for up to 2 years with no reason being given for the detention. Under PSA, a person can be charged with waging war against the state, a crime punishable with death or life in jail.

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