There was a new low reported in Kashmir, with stone pelters targeting a school bus carrying innocent children. In recent times stone pelters have targeted a tourist bus as well, thus displaying utter desperation in their conduct.
The incident triggered a series of reactions and the most prominent one was pertaining to the amnesty granted to stone pelters. Back in January, a decision was taken to grant at least 5.500 first time stone pelters amnesty.
The decision was taken in a bid to bring the youth back to the mainstream amidst the outrage created by a section which felt that being harsh on the young would lead nowhere.
Today's incident in which stone pelters targeted a school bus of the Rainbow High School at Shopian is a clear indicator that the soft rules against stone pelters are being misused.
Even more, ironically, the Hurriyat leadership has been silent on this incident. In fact, there was no condemnation from the Hurriyat leadership when stone pelters attacked a tourist bus on April 3- at Anantnag district. A group of youngsters pelted stones at a bus carrying both locals and tourists at around 8 pm.
Security officials say that these are not stray incidents and are linked to the operations being carried out by the Army against terrorists. A few days back, a top terrorist Sameer Tiger was shot dead by the Army and this had triggered an outrage among the locals. Several thousand people had attended the funeral amidst condemnation by various terror groups including the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
Stone pelters targeting school children and tourists appear to be a desperate measure to create fear among the people. They are deliberately targeting civilians and are not sparing school children too says an officer. They would avoid the Army as they fear retaliation and hence the fear is being caused by targeting those who are helpless, the officer also said.