A day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti ordered withdrawal of cases of stone-pelting against 4,327 youths, Union minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said law does not prevent authorities from arresting the stone-pelters again if they repeat the act.
“I think law does not prevent them (stone-pelters) from being arrested again, if they try to go astray again or try to indulge in such acts,” Singh told reporters here today.
He was replying to a question whether the Centre succumbed to separatists’ pressures for withdrawal of cases against stone-pelters in Kashmir.
“I would avoid being judgmental on this issue,” he said, adding, “Now that the Government of India has appointed a special representative in the form of Dineshwar Sharma, I think, we would best leave it to him to draw his inferences and conclusions and accordingly give inputs to the home ministry and the Centre.”
“But having said that, even if at certain level we decided that those who indulged in one-time fault, not as a habit, would be given chance, I think law does not prevent them from being arrested again,” Singh said.
To a question on development and governance in the state, the Union minister said, “The chief minister has started an outreach program and she has herself reached each of the districts which is something that should be appreciated.”
“She has been trying to have a direct contact with the people and also making surprise visits, like the one to the hospitals in Jammu yesterday,” he said.
“There is a lot of concentration on improving the governance in the state and I think the result would be positive in the days to come,” Singh said.