New Delhi: After six Uttar Pradesh youths informed police that they were “told” to pelt stones in Kashmir’s Pulwama, state DGP O P Singh on Friday dismissed their claim as “fake and fabricated”.
“Since the incident received wide media coverage, we decided to investigate the matter immediately. It was then that we found the youths had concocted the story to avoid arrest,” Singh told CNN-News18.
According to UP top cop, the youths had gone to Pulwama to work as tailors on a monthly salary of Rs 20,000, but later took up unskilled jobs such as mopping and washing vehicles before returning to Bagpat and Saharanpur.
The police suspected that the contractor coerced them into stone-pelting during search operations by the Indian Army and security forces. The youths alleged that they were still getting threat calls from Kashmir and had sought police help.
“During our investigation, it was found that the owner of the tailoring factory, contacted them and accused them of stealing clothes. Realising that they could be caught soon, the youths decided to cook up a story to avoid arrest,” Singh revealed.
He further said that thereafter, the youths went around telling people that they had gone to Kashmir to work, but were forced to pelt stones near an Army camp.
“The fact is, no such incident ever took place. In fact, they are the ones who had stolen clothes from the factory. We are convinced that their story is fake, and hence, we have decided not to investigate the matter further,” the DGP said, adding that the youths have not been arrested for theft as there is no formal complaint.
Singh said that their case would be taken up only if an FIR or a complaint is lodged in the matter.
“Messages on social media about police inaction and officers indulging in corruption are mostly intended to incite hatred among communities. We have a tough time quelling the rumours. It adds to the problems of the police,” he claimed.
The matter came to light earlier in the day when the top police officer said that six youths from Baghpat and Saharanpur districts have complained that they were told to take part in stone pelting.
The DGP had announced to deal with this issue “very discreetly”. He said had that the state’s anti-terror squad will probe the matter.
The families of the detained youth told the police that their children had gone to Kashmir for a contractual job at a stitching factory but they returned, complaining of being coerced into stone-pelting.