With Kashmir crossing 30 days under curfew, and anger over the killing of 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani still simmering, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally broken his silence over the violence in the Valley, and appealed for calm.
"A handful of misled youth are insulting the great traditions of Kashmir," Modi said, while addressing a rally to mark the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad in Bhopal on Tuesday. "I appeal to the youth let us together dream of making Kashmir paradise on earth. "
The death toll in Kashmir now stands at 58, and more than a 100 have suffered serious injuries in their eyes because of pellet guns, which could also lead to them being blinded.
While lawmakers have chastised Modi over his silence on Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has asked him to once again take up the dialogue process pioneered by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, over a decade ago.
"Boys who should be holding laptops, bats, balls and dreams in their hearts are carrying stones," Modi said today. "The freedom that every Indian has also belongs to every Kashmiri."
Modi said that his government was walking the path of dialogue forged by Vajpayee. "Kashmir wants peace. The Centre will help with whatever Kashmiris want to improve their livelihood," he said, promising development.
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