POLITICS

Curfew In Kashmir Relaxed After 52 Days

At long last.

29/08/2016 8:41 AM IST | Updated 29/08/2016 9:56 AM IST
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Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
A boy looks back at a member of the security forces in Srinagar as the city remains under curfew following weeks of violence in Kashmir August 19, 2016. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

The curfew in Kashmir was lifted from most parts of the Valley on Monday after 52 days of continuous restrictions. Violent protests after Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani's killing had forced authorities to enforce the curfew for nearly two months.

"Following improvement in the situation, there will be no restrictions in Kashmir valley from tomorrow except Pulwama town and the areas falling under the jurisdictions of police stations MR Gunj and Nowhatta," a spokesperson from the police had said on Sunday.

The police, however, will continue to impose section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code that effectively prevents even small groups of people assembling in one place.

Meanwhile, in a fresh bid to reach out to people of the valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said "Ekta" (unity) and "Mamata" (love) are the basic mantras for addressing Kashmir problem even as he slammed those pushing "innocent" children to violence, saying they will have to answer them some day.

Seeking to strike a chord with the people of Kashmir, he said if any life is lost in the valley, whether of any youth or any securityman, "that loss is ours, of our own, of our own country".

Speaking on the unrest in the valley in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', Modi said, "From the interactions I had with all parties on Kashmir, one thing emerged from those, which can be put in simple words as 'Ekta' and 'Mamata'. These two things were the basic mantra."

Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
Women wash the street outside their house in Srinagar as security forces patrol during a curfew following weeks of violence in Kashmir August 19, 2016.


He said all the political parties had spoken in one voice on Kashmir, sending out a "message to the world as well as separatist forces" besides conveying "our sentiments to the people of Kashmir".

He equated it to the passage of landmark GST Bill by Parliament for which all the parties came together, saying it showed that big tasks can be achieved by walking jointly.

"It is the view of all of us, the view of 125 crore people from a pradhan of a village to the Prime Minister, that if any life is lost in Kashmir, whether of any youth or any securityman, that loss is ours, our own country," Modi said.

At the same time, he slammed "those people who push small children to try to create unrest in Kashmir", saying "some day, they will have to give answers to these innocent children".

The Prime Minister's remarks came a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief MInister Mehbooba Mufti met him and presented a "three-pronged action plan" that includes dialogue with all stakeholders.

"This country is very big, full of diversities. To keep it united, it is the responsibility of all of us, as individual citizens, as a society and as a government, to strengthen the unity as much as we can, highlight it as much as we can. Only then can the nation achieve its bright future.

I have confidence in the power of 125 crore people of the country," he said in the 23rd edition of his programme.

(with PTI inputs)

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