Senior Supreme Court lawyer and National Panthers Party (NPP) chief Bhim Singh on Wednesday defended stone pelters by saying that the youth of Kashmir had reasons to revolt against the government. “Our party doesn’t condemn stone pelting by youth. We support them as they do it to press for their demands,” Singh said, while addressing a press conference in Jammu.
Singh, 75, the patron of NPP, said that the demands of the youth were genuine and needed to be considered by the government. "If anybody is fighting with stones against atrocities, we are with them,” Singh added.
Kashmir saw unrest after Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed on 8 July, 2016 in south Kashmir.His death sparked protests across the Valley in which close to 100 people, including 2 security personnel were killed and hundreds were injured.
The PDP-BJP government launched a massive crackdown against agitating leaders and stone pelters. Kashmir police arrested over 7,000 people in the Valley while more than 500 were booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Singh said that nearly “13,000 youth”, mostly students, are currently languishing in different jails across India. “The jails across the state have no space left now. The arrested youth have been shifted to jails in other states,” he said.
He also sought forgiveness from the people of Kashmir, especially the parents whose kith and kin were either killed or blinded during last year’s unrest. “Despite the killing, blinding and maiming of Kashmir youth we were mute spectators. I knocked the doors of the Supreme Court over the killings in Kashmir but that didn't help," he said.
Peoples Democratic Party General Secretary Nizamuddin Bhat said Singh’s statement would only encourage the youth to throw stones at forces. “Do you think such a statement should be made by a senior leader like him? It is most unfortunate,” Bhat said.
The National Panthers Party has also demanded that the Rohingya refugees leave Jammu. Recently, Singh's party erected dozens of hoardings in Jammu which told the refugees to leave the city or be thrown out.
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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 21:12:11 IST