Srinagar: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Thursday has claimed that stone pelting incidents in the valley have declined by half.
Stone Pelting in Kashmir is a form of protest and refers to actions of pelting, bombarding or throwing of stones on the Indian Armed Forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police by the people of Kashmir. The stone pelting people mostly include youth of Kashmir with specific range of age. In the local language, it is termed as “Kanni Jung”, which means fighting with stones and the stone pelters are called as Sangbaaz.
CRPF Director General Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar said, “So far this year, only 424 stone-pelting incidents have been reported as opposed to 1,590 incidents last year.” He was speaking at the 78th anniversary celebration of the force.
He attributed the decline to Central government policies and combined effort of security and intelligence forces and agencies, according to a report in a news website DNA. “Combined effort of the security forces, Jammu and Kashmir Police, and all agencies including National Investigation Agency (NIA) has made this happen,” he said.
He further pointed out that CRPF is closely working with state police to deal with Law & Order situation in the state, particularly stone pelting. “Our troops are properly trained to handle volatile Law and Order situation; maintaining restraint, using proper strategy and equipment, and lesser usage of lethal weapons to control violent mob,” he said.
In the past, stones were pelted by the Kashmiri youth on the police in the streets of Srinagar for expressing their anger during 1931 Kashmir agitation. After the rise of insurgency in Kashmir conflict, the stone pelting incidents became prominent in Kashmir from the 2008 Kashmir protests in which the freedom movement had taken a new dimension from gun-fighting with armed forces to the pelting of stones on them.
An essay in The Hindu claimed that stone pelting ‘is driven by the brutal killings of Kashmiri youth’ at the hands of Indian forces.