Home Top Story 300 WhatsApp groups mobilise stone pelters in Kashmir

300 WhatsApp groups mobilise stone pelters in Kashmir

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(The News Bureau)

Stone-pelters in Kashmir are being mobilised through 300 WhatsApp groups to disrupt secu

ity forces operations at encounter sites.

Each of these 300 WhatsApp groups had around 250 members, the official said while explaining how determined attempts were being made to disrupt the operations of the security forces by mobilising stone-pelting mobs at the encounter sites.

“We identified the groups and the group administrators, who were called in by police for counselling. We have had a good response to this initiative,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

In the last three weeks, more than 90 per cent of these WhatsApp groups have been shut down, the official said.

He said the government’s policy of suspending internet services appeared to be showing positive results in curbing stone-pelting during encounters and cited the case of recent encounter in Budgam district.

Just a few youth gathered

to hurl stones after two militants were gunned down in the encounter. This was in sharp contrast to an encounter in Durbugh village in the same area on March 28, when a large number of stone-pelters had assembled and three of them were killed in firing by security forces.

“With no internet services, the mobilisation of mobs has almost become impossible. Earlier, we would see youth from as far as 10 kilometres from the encounter sites joining the protesters to pelt stones at security forces to disrupt the anti-militancy operations, the official said.

“With the internet facility withdrawn, the activity on these social networking groups and other sites like Facebook has come down drastically,” he added.

Stone-pelting on security forces near the encounter sites has been causing major operational problems for the law enforcing agencies over the past one year. More than half a dozen youth have been killed in such incidents in the first quarter of this year.

However, the common people especially those from the business community say they are facing hardships, because of the inability to stay connected online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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