"This is the right step. Now they can't arrest any minor just like that, they will have to first contact the committee for that," said Altaf, giving a thumbs up to the new system under which minors will no longer be sent to jail but juvenile homes.
The government has come under a lot of criticism for alleged police high-handedness in dealing with youngsters during the Kashmir unrest, but now it wants to reverse that impression and put in place a mechanism.
Since last June, 85 minors were arrested and put in jail in Kashmir after a wave of stone pelting protests followed the death of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani.
The panels are expected to be formed by the end of this year. The plan is that their members - who would be drawn from the localities -- would go door to door to spread the word and build trust.
"The government has formed these committees and done justice. There used to be excesses against people in the past. Now the people can directly approach the committees to redress their problems," said Hamid Ul lah, a member of a local child welfare Committee.
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