SRINAGAR: The Centre had decided to withdraw cases against those "misled into stone pelting" as it was concerned about the future of Jammu and Kashmir's youth, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
Singh, who arrived at the state's summer capital today, is on a two-day visit to review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
"We believe that children anywhere are the same. We understand that some youth were misled into stone pelting...
"Children can make mistakes... That is why we decided to withdraw the cases against those children who were involved in stone pelting," he said.
The Union Home Ministry late last year had ordered to withdraw cases against youths involved in stone pelting.
Singh appealed to the youth not to tread the path of destruction and said the Centre and the state government had initiated several schemes to help them secure their future.
"I want to appeal to the youth that they should take the path of development... They should not go on the path of destruction," he said at a sports function at the Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Stadium here.
"There is extreme love in the heart of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Jammu and Kashmir.
"It is our responsibility to provide a secure future to the youth of the state and it can be done with the power of education and miracle of sports," Singh said.
Lauding the state government for carrying out works for improving the sports infrastructure, the Home Minister said funds will not be a problem for promoting sports in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Funds will be provided for promotion of water sports at Mansar and Pahalgam... Funds will be arranged for development of sports infrastructure," he said.
"With the help of the Jammu and Kashmir government, we will change the face and destiny of the state," Singh said
Singh felicitated several sportsperson from the state, including Parvez Rasool, Mehrajuddin, Rajinder Singh, Manzoor Dar and Tajjammul Islam.
"The state of Jammu and Kashmir has great talent and many more such sports persons can come out of the state if the conditions are right," he said.
Several roads leading to the stadium were sealed by security forces, leading to massive traffic jams in the south area here, officials said.
The traffic situation is expected to ease after the Home Minister moves to SKICC on the Dal Lake's banks where he will review the security situation later in the day, they said.