Civil society in Kashmir welcomes Centre`s announcement

Welcoming Centre`s advice to J&K govt to release all students detained for stone pelting, civil society in J&K hoped it will be implemented by the state. government.

Srinagar: Welcoming Centre`s advice to Jammu and Kashmir government to release all students detained for stone pelting, members of the civil society in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday hoped that it will be implemented by the state government.

"It is a good announcement but whether it turns into a reality or not is yet to be seen," Nighat Shafi Pandit, who runs an NGO Help Foundation, said. She said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram`s advice needs to be followed and all the students arrested over the past few months should be released within the next 48 hours.

The cases registered against these students should be withdrawn and the detention of those booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) should be revoked, she said. Pandit said while the announcement of Rs 100 crore for improving the education infrastructure in the state was a good move, the issue in the valley was not about money.

"I am more concerned about the students than anything else and they should be in their homes and schools rather than in the Jails," she added. As part of an eight-point formula to the Kashmir Valley, the Centre had yesterday advised the J and K government to release students and youth who have been arrested or detained for stone pelting and similar violations of law during the Valley unrest, and withdraw all charges against them.

Zahoor Ahmad Tak, who runs an orphanage under the name JK Yateem Trust, echoed the views of Pandit saying, "it is an administrative matter and is definitely going to be a relief
for the students who should be released immediately."

Tak said the Centre needs to take a holistic view on addressing the problem in Kashmir as the students are part of the society and cannot be looked at in isolation. "Unless the law and order situation improves in the valley, these steps are not going to be of much help to the students," he said.

Tak said a political approach has to be adopted for bringing Kashmir out of the present quagmire and "what has been announced on the political front is not enough".


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