Chief Minister in a recent meeting held with the senior officials has advised them to “find empathetic plan of action to contain the situation”. It is learnt that she is planning to apply the “healing touch” by reviewing those cases where students and first-timers are involved and release them after obtaining assurances from their parents. It is also learnt that the CM is also planning to suitably rehabilitate them. The idea on face of it appears to be good but a detailed analysis reveals serious consequences not only in Kashmir but other two parts of the state as well, commented Brig Anil Gupta, State Spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party. Releasing the stone- pelters, instigators and their sympathizers, even if first-timers, without going through the proper process of law will send a very wrong message to the law-abiding, peace-loving youth of the state. Anybody who dares to challenge the authority of the state and prevents the security forces from carrying out their lawful duties by pelting stones at them, causing grievous injuries to their on-duty personnel, deserves to be punished so that he dare not repeat such heinous crime again. If let free due to empathetic consideration may lead to emboldening them and at the same time encourage the peace-loving youth to resort to violence to ensure that their grievances are also heard. It raises a very pertinent question, “Why should only those be heard who indulge in violence and not those who are peaceful and continue to suffer in silence?” lamented Brig Gupta.
Rather than releasing the offenders on empathy, Brig Anil Gupta suggested establishing special reformatory jails for such youth arrested during the past four months for varying offences but all amounting to challenging the authority of the state in some form or the other. The prime task of these reformatory jails should be “De-radicalization” and promotion of the integrated culture of the state. The “Skill-Development” should also be done simultaneously so that it helps them in finding a suitable job after release from the jail. The aim of “Healing Touch” this time should be “transformation” rather than appeasement.
Elaborating further Brig Gupta said that the youth in the entire state feels neglected and is agitated due to unemployment because of faulty policies of the previous governments but the majority of them have not chosen to vent their anger by attacking the security forces or burning government property. Why should they continue to suffer for being law-abiding citizens? They also need a healing touch by providing them employment and job opportunities by ending regional discrimination in providing government jobs. The case in point is the manning of state’s civil secretariat which is highly skewed in favour of a particular region and community according to the spokesperson.