“Lucrative stone-pelting business” – Get up to Rs 300 daily for throwing stones at jawans

published on July 8, 2010

Kumar Shakti Shekhar | New Delhi – Daily Pioneer

Stone-pelting, which has become a menace for the security forces in the Kashmir valley, has become an organised crime and a thriving business.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said there are as many as four major stone-pelters’ organisations active in the Valley, proving to be a nightmare for the security forces. “Jammu and Kashmir Stone-pelters’ Association, Stone-pelters’ Association of Kashmir Valley, I Am A Stone-pelter and Stone Throwers are the four organisations active in the Valley for the past couple of years,” they said.

These organisations allegedly recruit the youth and pay them at the rate of about Rs 150 to Rs 300 per day for throwing stones at the security forces and disturbing the normal life in the Valley.

What is perplexing for the officials is that the administration and police in the Valley are in the know of this “lucrative stone-pelting business” but have not taken any action against them, they added.

Stone-pelting, which started from Nauhatta in Srinagar in the wake of Amarnath land dispute in June 2008, has not only created a law and order problem but also taken a toll on the security forces. On July 4, Sunil Pawar, a constable of

CRPF’s 162 Battalion, lost his left eye after being hit by a stone. He is recuperating at the Army’s Base Hospital in Srinagar.

So far, 1,875 CRPF personnel have been injured, with 211 of them becoming victims since the latest spate of stone-pelting started on June 11. Sources said the local police had even intercepted communications of the LeT on the ways in which to build up the agitation through stone-pelting.

Meanwhile, Intelligence agencies have found that the stone pelters were funded from across the border through money transfer agencies, like Western Union, via Dubai. “It is not easy to track them, as they dispatch money through small amounts. As the transactions are below Rs10 lakh, it is not easy to keep a watch always. The money is transferred to agents in small lots. It is an open secret that stone-pelters are hired for Rs 300 per day by these local agents. State police should bring these unscrupulous elements before the law,” sources said.

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