Prime Minister Narendra Modi Chairs All-Party Meet On Kashmir

Kashmir is still under curfew.

12/08/2016 1:06 PM IST | Updated 12/08/2016 3:53 PM IST
Danish Ismail / Reuters
A protester throws stones towards the Indian police during a protest in Srinagar against the recent killings in Kashmir, August 9, 2016. REUTERS//Danish Ismail

NEW DELHI -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday afternoon chaired an all-party meet in the capital as the unrest in Kashmir entered its 35th day.

Those present at the meeting included Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, as well as Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Telugu Desam Party's YS Chowdary.

It is believed that the government will discuss a future road-map for the Kashmir issue, as more than 50 people have reported to have died, and 5,000 others injured in the past month.

Meanwhile, curfew was today extended to many areas in Kashmir while severe restrictions were imposed in rest of the Valley to thwart a planned march by separatists to Eidgah in old city.

"Curfew has been imposed in entire Srinagar district, Anantnag town, Shopian town, Baramulla town, Awantipora and Pampore towns of Pulwama district," a police official told PTI.

He said curfew was also imposed in Ganderbal town, Budgam, Chadoora, Magam, Kunzer, Tangmarg and Pattan areas of the Valley as a precautionary measure.

In rest of the Valley, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the people, the official said.

Last Friday saw intense clashes between protesters and security forces at many places in the Valley after the congregational prayers.

The clashes left three people dead and several hundred others injured.

The separatists, who are holding protests in the Valley, had called on the people to assemble at Eidgah in old city for paying tributes to those killed in security forces action over the past 34 days during violent protests against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last month.

Normal life remained affected in the Valley for the 35th consecutive day due to the curbs imposed by the authorities and the separatist sponsored strike.

As many as 55 persons, including two police personnel, were killed and several thousand others injured in the clashes between protesters and security forces.

Schools, colleges, business establishments, petrol pumps and private offices remained closed while public transport remained off the roads. The attendance in government offices and banks was also thin, the official said.

On Friday, Carmel Convent school in Jammu was evacuated as a precautionary measure after reports of two men were seen lurking around "suspiciously".

Mobile telephone services were snapped, except the postpaid services of state-run BSNL, at midnight as a precautionary measure to curb "rumour mongering".

Mobile internet services continued to remain snapped in the entire Valley.

The separatist camp has extended the shutdown call in Kashmir till August 18 and called for a march at Lal Chowk on 13th and 14th August.

Lok Sabha Passes Resolution On Kashmir

Voicing concern over prolonged curfew, violence and loss of lives in Kashmir, Lok Sabha today unanimously passed a resolution, appealing for urgent steps to restore order and peace in the valley while asserting that there can be no compromise with the country's integrity and security.

In the resolution read out by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, the House appealed to all sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir to restore the confidence among the people in general and youth in particular.

The House "conveys its deep sense of anguish and concern over the loss of lives and critical injuries caused by the deteriorating situation," it said.

Amid thumping of desks by members from all sides, the resolution asserted that the House "is of the firm and considered view that there cannot be any compromise on unity, integrity and national security.

"It is equally an imperative that urgent steps are taken to restore order and peace for the alleviation of the sufferings of the people," it said.

"The House conveys its deep sense of anguish and concern over the loss of lives and critical injuries caused by the deteriorating situation."

The resolution was read out by the Speaker after opposition parties suggested that she instead of Home Minister Rajnath Singh should propose it.

Earlier, leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that the House pass a resolution on Kashmir where the situation was turning complex and was deteriorating by the day.

The House should appeal that the whole nation is united on the issue, Kharge said which was promptly agreed to by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Earlier Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia was seen having some discussions with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Minister, apparently over the issue of adopting the resolution.

Earlier this week, the Rajya Sabha too had passed a resolution expressing its serious concern over the prolonged turbulence, violence and curfew in the Kashmir valley.

The Lok Sabha adopted the resolution unanimously shortly before the monsoon session was adjourned sine-die by the Speaker.

(with PTI inputs)

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