Kashmir Stone-pelters at encounter sites: 300 WhatsApp groups were used to mobilize
Srinagar, April 24: Nearly 300 WhatsApp groups were being used to mobilize stone-pelters in Kashmir to disrupt security forces’ operations at encounter sites, of which 90 percent have been shut down, a police official said.
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 mobilizing stone-pelting mobs at the encounter sites.
“We identified the groups and the group administrators, who were called in by police for counseling. We have had a good response to this initiative,” he said on the condition of anonymity.
In the last three weeks, more than 90 percent 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 yesterday’s encounter in Budgam district.
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.