Rajnath to visit Kashmir today

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will on Wednesday visit Jammu and Kashmir where restrictions continued in many parts of the valley for the 46th consecutive day.

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi will accompany the minister during the two-day visit, official sources said.

The Home Minister will take stock of the situation in the Kashmir Valley.

Rajnath Singh’s visit to the state, the second in a month, comes after Opposition legislators of Jammu and Kashmir held several meetings in Delhi including with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Nardenra Modi and demanded a “political solution” to the ongoing unrest.

Modi told the opposition parties that there had to be a dialogue to end the weeks of unrest in the valley but any solution to the problem would be within the Indian Constitution.

Rajnath Singh on Monday reviewed the situation in the state with officials of security agencies.

At least 68 people, including 66 civilians and two policemen, have died in the violence in the valley since July 9, a day after Hizbul militant Burhan Wani was killed by security forces.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is going to Kashmir tomorrow to get first hand assessment of the situation prevailing in the Valley where curfew continued on the 46th day today, though some improvement in the situation was reported.

Singh’s visit comes close on the heels of the meeting of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and other Opposition leaders from Kashmir with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The delegation led by Abullah had apprised the Prime Minister of the situation prevailing in the Valley hit by turmoil ever since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Bruhan Wani which led to widespread protest and action by security forces in which over 65 people have been killed and thousands of young people, including security forces suffered injuries.

The Prime Minister had also expressed deep concern and pain over the prevailing situation in protest-hit Kashmir and told Opposition leaders that those who lost their lives during the unrest are “part of us, our nation”.

The PMO in a release, said Modi ”emphasised that there has to be dialogue and we need to find a permanent and lasting solution to the problem within the framework of the Constitution. He emphasised on the need for all political parties to work together to find a solution to the problems in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. ”

”The Home Minister is leaving tomorrow and will come back day after tomorrow after taking stock of the situation,” Ministry sources said here today.

Singh will be accompanied by the Home Secretary and senior security forces officials.

He will hold talks with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and senior state officials and leaders besides meeting other representatives of the people.


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