As Rajnath-led APD arrives in valley, violent protests eru pted, several injured

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As 28-members of All Party Delegation (APD) led by Home Minister, Rajnath Singh arrived in Srinagar, violent clashed erupted in which several people injured.

The clashes broke out in Shopian district Sunday morning with protesters setting ablaze a mini-secretariat building that comprises the office of the DM and many other district level officers. Fortunately, no employee was present at the secretariat when the incident occurred, police said.

The all-party delegation led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Srinagar on Sunday morning to a complete shutdown of the Valley and restrictions.

Contingents of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed across Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir, although curfew was not imposed.

The delegation of various political parties will talk to people to find “find a way out of the present crisis.”

Before he led a delegation of political parties to the Valley, Rajnath wrote on Twitter: “Heading to Srinagar with the All Party Delegation. We intend to talk to individuals & groups who want peace & normalcy in the Kashmir valley”.

The 28-member delegation has scheduled discussions with the leaders of various political parties, representatives of various other groups and individuals at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) from 11 am to 4.30 pm today and from 9 am to 11.30 am on Monday.

The delegation will also visit Jammu later on Monday to meet civil society groups, among others.

The much-hyped all-party delegation visit comes after the Home Minister’s two previous visits — one in July and the second in August — in the wake of the violence triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy, Burhan Wani, in south Kashmir on July 8.

The violence, which has turned into a vicious cycle of killings, has so far claimed the lives of 73 persons, including 71 civilians and two J&K policemen. It is reminiscent of the summer unrests that hit the trouble-torn Kashmir in 2008 and 2010.

Separatists, traders’ bodies, and high court Bar Association have boycotted the delegation, calling it a ‘futile exercise’.

Hardline leader Syed Ali Geelani has asked the separatist leadership and the civil society to stay away from the exercise, even as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti invited them to join the talks.

The Kashmir Sikh body, All-Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), which met the Home Minister during his last two visits, has decided not to hold talks with the delegation, saying that there was no Kashmir agenda set for the meeting. It has also sought the involvement of the people from Jammu and Ladakh regions to end the crisis.

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