A 52-day curfew in Kashmir that has witnessed violent protests since the killing of Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani last month, was lifted today except in Pulwama district and some parts of Srinagar.
Restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code or CrPC will however remain enforced which prohibits unlawful assembly of 10 or more people.
Around 70 people have died and over 11,000 have been injured in violent clashes between protesters and security forces.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, spoke of the Kashmir unrest in his radio addressMann Ki Baat and said “ekta” (unity) and “mamata” (compassion) could be the “twin mantras” to bring peace in the Valley.
The Prime Minister’s message to trouble-makers in the state — on a platform for positive messages — comes a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stepped up the offensive on Kashmir, nominating 22 parliamentarians as special envoys to world capitals to highlight the issue. India has rebuked Pakistan on its offer for talks on Kashmir, saying it was open to discussing cross-border infiltration and terrorism – which was much more “relevant”.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who also met the Prime Minister in Delhi on Saturday directly addressed the protesters and said, “I may have got angry with you and you may be angry with me, but give me a chance”.
Ms Mufti discussed a ‘three-point plan’ with PM Modi, which according to sources, included a Track 2 dialogue through eminent interlocutors from outside of government, and talks with separatists.
“Everyone wants the bloodshed to stop. But dialogue can only happen with those who want it. I appeal to the Hurriyat to help in getting peace back on the streets, to stop the killings,” Ms Mufti had said.
State opposition parties, who had also met PM Modi in Delhi last week, have pushed for a dialogue with “all stakeholders” including separatists for a long lasting solution to the Kashmir issue.