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To Build Trust Among Kashmiris, Govt to Withdraw Cases Against First-time Stonepelters

The CRPF has also announced a helpline number -14411- for youngsters willing to give up arms and surrender. The Jammu and Kashmir Police had ensured the surrender of two former terrorists in the last few days.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:November 21, 2017, 5:57 PM IST
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To Build Trust Among Kashmiris, Govt to Withdraw Cases Against First-time Stonepelters
Image for representation. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir government and the Centre, ahead of interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma's second visit to the state, held a detailed meeting to discuss the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to win the trust of Kashmiris.

A note accessed by CNN-News18 mentioned that the two governments had agreed to withdraw cases against the first-time stone-pelters as one of the priorities.

Sources told CNN-News 18 that Dineshwar Sharma, after his maiden visit to the valley, had recommended withdrawing cases against stone-pelters and addressing the power crisis as a starting point to gain the confidence of Kashmiris.

Dineshwar had briefed home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Nirmala Sitaraman, NSA, Army Chief and others about his impression of the crisis in the valley last week.

The CRPF has also announced a helpline number -14411- for youngsters willing to give up arms and surrender. The Jammu and Kashmir Police had ensured the surrender of two former terrorists in the last few days.

Fulfilling Home Minister Rajnath Singh's promise, the government also decided to bring the J&K policemen at par with other Central Forces in terms compensation, should they die in the line of duty.
These policemen will get Rs 30 lakh ex-gratia -- Rs 12 lakh to be paid by the centre and remaining by the state government -- instead of Rs 7 lakh that they received earlier.

The demand for the equal payment was made by police when Rajnath Singh visited Anantnag during his Kashmir trip in September this year.

The government's CBMs also include measures to reduce power shortage in the valley. Power Ministry has decided to allocate additional electricity to the tune of 800 Mega Watts during the Winter. Power Minister R K Singh also paid a visit to Srinagar last month and took stock of the situation.

For people living in the Border areas of the state, the union government has decided to reimburse expenses incurred by the state to provide relief during ceasefire violation. The reimbursement will be as per the existing NDRF guidelines.

Former interlocutor Radha Kumar welcomed the initiatives but said that these measures must be backed by political engagements. "After our report was submitted, similar CBMs were announced, but these have to be followed up by political engagements. If the Hurriyat is not coming to the dialogue table, look for other measures. In the absence of political engagements, the CBMs may have a temporary effect," Kumar told CNN news18.

Dineshwar Sharma is slated to travel to South Kashmir from November 26. He will meet people in Anantnag, Pulwama and surrounding areas. South Kashmir has been the hub of violent agitations and terror encounters in the past few months.
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