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Pardoning first time stone pelters a policy tweak to ensure normalcy: FM

Jaitley said the government, through its interlocutor, intended to engage all those interested in talks to resolve the Kashmir issue.

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Any policy tweak on is to ensure normalcy in the state, Minister said on Wednesday in response to a query about the Centre advocating withdrawal of cases against first-time stone-pelters in the Valley.

"The government's policy is (aimed) to normalise the situation in and bring peace there. The government works on the basis of what steps are supposed to be taken to bring normalcy back to the Valley," Jaitley said.

"There was a situation when civil disobedience (in the Valley) was at its peak, when stone-pelters would come in thousands, terrorists could pick their targets as they wished and would give a call (for bandh) whenever they liked and paralyse everything," he added.

"Today, the situation has changed. Security forces have an upper hand. It has become difficult for stone-pelters to gather a crowd. The has been exposed," the minister said.

The has advised the government to withdraw cases against first-time offenders involved in stone-pelting during the 2016 unrest. At the same time, the Centre has also offered to bear the cost of treatment of those who were injured in firing by security forces.

The move comes close on the heels of the Centre appointing former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as its interlocutor for Sharma is likely to visit the Valley soon for a second time. His first visit as interlocutor was between November 6 and November 10.

Jaitley said the government, through its interlocutor, intended to engage all those interested in talks to resolve the

"In a situation like this, the government through its new initiative is engaging with those who want to talk. We are trying to bring back normalcy. What efforts are to be made will be decided by our special representative and the state government," he said.

First Published: Wed, November 22 2017. 18:38 IST
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