Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday approved the withdrawal of 744 cases of law-and-order violation against 4,327 youth stone pelters.
"The decision was taken on the recommendation of a high-powered committee headed by the Director General of Police which submitted its report to the CM on Wednesday", the state Home Department said.
The announcement came days after Government of India's special representative to J&K, Dineshwar Sharma recommended withdrawal of cases against the youth as a goodwill gesture to win hearts in Kashmir.
The CM has also directed the Director General of Police, S P Vaid to check the progress in this direction and give a fortnightly report to her office.
"The decision marks the revival of the process of withdrawal of cases which was started by Mehbooba Mufti last year, immediately after taking over as chief minister," official statement claims.
It said that the chief minister had started a process of review of cases registered against youths between 2008 and 2014, and 104 cases involving 634 youths were withdrawn within two months of her assuming power. The process, unfortunately, was disrupted due to the violence and unrest last year.
The statement said that the total cases withdrawn so far on the directions of the chief minister has gone up to 848 and the number of persons benefiting from these withdrawals stands at 4,957.
Mehbooba had recently ordered a review of cases lodged during 2015-2017 (till date) and a decision on the same would be taken on receipt of the report by a high-powered committee.
Soon after the big announcement, the CM described the decision as a ray of hope for these young boys and their families, and as an opportunity for them to rebuild their lives.
"The decision would help in creating a positive and conciliatory atmosphere in the state where the youth would be able to build their lives in a much more constructive and positive way," she said.