Srinagar : The Jammu and Kashmir police has started separating young suspects detained for throwing rocks at security forces into a separate correctional facility, where, officials say, they are being given education and job training.
The region, particularly South Kashmir, has seen an uptick in militancy that has often found support from sections of civilian populations. Usually, locals back militants by attacking police and army with stones during counter-insurgency operations.
“We are trying to give them vocational training to be plumber, an electrician and in other such trades. The idea is to take them away from anti-national activities once they leave the jail,” said SK Mishra, the director general of prisons.
The initiative also comes after Union home minister Rajnath Singh recently asked security forces to treat all suspects below the age of 18 as juveniles, as is the case in the rest of the country. “They should be tried in juvenile courts and also be separated from hardened criminals,” he had said.
For the programme, a special correction home was set up this month in Pulwama district — seen largely as the epicentre of the region’s militancy movement — and 17 youngsters from different prisons have been shifted to it.
“We have hired teachers to teach those who have not gone to schools while those who are educated, they are being provided with computer education,” said Mishra. The ‘home’ also has facilities for indoor and outdoor games. It can accommodate 200 people.
“These are all young stone-pelters mostly booked under public safety act,” the official said. Under public safety act, the police can jail a person from 6 months to 2 years without a trial.
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