Police interact with ’stone-pelters’ in Srinagar

February 9th, 2011 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Feb 9 (IANS) For a second day Wednesday, senior police officers interacted over lunch with nearly 150 young men who were involved in clashes with security forces here in Jammu and Kashmir.Inspector General of Police S.M. Sahai, Deputy Inspector General Abdul Gani Mir and Senior Superintendent of Police Syed Ashiq Bukhari spoke with the “stone-pelters” of Old City areas.

They were invited to the Nowhatta police station for a “free and frank discussion” as well as lunch, police sources said.

A similar interaction took place Tuesday. This was the first of its kind discussion between the police brass and youths who had harassed police and security forces with stone pelting during summer last year.

“The basic purpose of this interaction was to bridge the communication gap between the police and the youth here,” Bukhari told IANS.

The police officers promised youth clubs, professional counselling, sports and recreational facilities for the young.

“Our basic condition was that they should pursue their careers seriously and look upon police as their friend and not foe,” Bukhari said.

“They were assured that all senior officers would always listen to their grievances,” he added.

Police have been pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to ensure that the unrest witnessed here last summer, in which over 100 people were killed, does not recur.

Many instigators and hardcore stone-pelters have been arrested. But the police are following a policy of reconciliation with hundreds of youth who may have pelted stones because of the heightened tensions.

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