n Kashmir it is raining stones. Stone pelting battles called ‘Kani Jung’ locally, have become order of the day in the valley. Stone-pelting is not new to Kashmir. This activity dates back to the Mughal rule in 16th century. In recent history, stones have been an instrument of violent protest. Stone throwing was involved whenever there would be a fight between Sheikh Abdullah’s supporters and followers of Mirwaiz Muhammad Yusuf Shah (grandfather of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq), the two arch rival political groups in Srinagar city.
In the past few years, stone throwing in the valley has gained momentum. The protests, strikes, killings etc. have paralysed the life in the valley and the strike diktats issued by separatists & like-minded people have affected common people. The most affected ones are the children. They can’t go to schools due to anti-social stone pelting wars. Some insane leaders are giving orders to parents to restrain their children from going to schools. Instead of pen, books & toys, the kids are to be given stones. What has happened to civil society in Kashmir? How can they allow kids to go on streets for violent stone throwing fights? These separatists certainly don’t care for the education of young people in the valley. Their self promoted vision and goals are more important than anything else. They are busy in instigating violence. They do not care about the present lives of people in the valley. These protests will eventually not yield anything for the innocent children even as the separatists are busy in revising and updating calendars for strikes/protests. They are forcing stones to become the toys of young ones of the valley.
The saddest part is that in these stone-pelting fights, several young children have lost their lives. My heart bleeds whenever I hear the news of young children dying. These children don’t know the meaning of terrorism or what the so called Azadi will bring. These kids have nothing to do with games that foolish adults are playing. Children of the valley need books and not stones. I pray to God that normalcy returns to the valley very soon and that there are no more deaths of young children.
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