A delegation of Jammu youth met interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma on 24 November and asked for the sort of amnesty granted to stone-pelters in Kashmir a day before.
New Delhi: After the amnesty granted to first time stone-throwing protesters in Kashmir, the Central government may have to look into cases against the youth of Jammu who were involved in protests during the 2008 Amarnath land row.
A delegation of youth met the newly-appointed interlocutor, Dineshwar Sharma, on 24 November, a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced the amnesty scheme for Kashmiri youth. The delegation demanded “amnesty to all against whom cases are registered for 2008 Amarnath land row on the pattern of amnesty given to stone-pelters in Kashmir”.
For several months in 2008, there were protests in Kashmir and counter-protests in Jammu over the allotment of 800 kanals of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). IGP Jammu S.D. Singh Jamwal said there are a handful of cases pending, including six in Jammu and two in other districts, in which young men were booked for protesting during the land row.
“I have spoken to the concerned authorities, and asked for the details of cases against the youth in Jammu. I have assured them that I will take necessary action,” Dineshwar Sharma, who is in the state for his second visit since his appointment, told ThePrint.
Deepak Sharma from the law department of Jammu University, who led the group of research scholars to the meeting, said: “We told the interlocutor that the Centre and state government have always taken Kashmir into consideration, while we have been discriminated against. It’s about equality; thus, cases against the youth of Jammu, who took to the roads during the land row, must be withdrawn.”
Speaking to ThePrint, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid said the police would review the cases if that was the recommendation from the government. “In the amnesty policy, we had looked at cases in 2008, 2009 and 2010 earlier, but this time we have been asked to consider cases from 2014 to 2016. In the case of Jammu, if there are any cases, we will look into it.”
Union Minister of State and Udhampur MP Jitendra Singh had earlier called for scrapping cases against the youth in Jammu.
“Years ago, some youths, who came out to hold peaceful protest during the Amarnath yatra in 2008, were slapped with FIRs. They are in such a situation that they failed to get jobs due to those FIRs,” Singh had said while addressing a gathering in Jammu in 2015.
Announcing the amnesty scheme for stone-pelters in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mufti had said her government was committed to rehabilitating the youth of the Valley.