Violence escalates in Valley: 32 dead, 1,318 injured; several police, CRPF pickets attacked

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For the fourth consecutive day, Kashmir today witnessed ‘spiral of violence’, taking the death toll to 32 with more than 1,300 injured, many critical. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation and appealed for calm with the hope that no innocent person would face an inconvenience or suffer any loss. According to police sources, one person was Tuesday killed in Kupwara, while as many injured civilians have succumbed to their injuries, thus escalating the death toll.
There were some other incidents of violence, including a militant strike on a police post and a mob attack on the family of a police officer in which his wife and daughter were injured.
In Delhi, Modi held a high-level meeting to review the Kashmir situation soon after his return from his five-day Africa visit. It was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
The Prime Minister voiced concern over the situation in the state where the death toll rose to 25 in the violent protests and clashes with security forces, triggered by the killing of Hizbul militant commander Burhan Wani last Friday.
“He (PM) has appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to maintain peace so that the situation can normalise. He (PM) also expressed hope that no innocent person should face any kind of inconvenience or loss,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said after the meeting. Modi said the Centre will provide whatever help is needed by the state government, according to Jitendra Singh. The Prime Minister also expressed satisfaction over the progress of the Amarnath Yatra. The Prime Minister was given a detailed presentation of the situation prevailing in the Valley.
“The Prime Minister kept taking updates about the Jammu and Kashmir situation during his visit abroad. The biggest evidence of his concern is that he called this review meeting within hours of returning from the tour and took details,” Singh told reporters.
In Kashmir, while normal life remained paralysed, unidentified militants targeted a police post in Sopore, about 55 kms from Srinagar, firing seven to eight rounds but no one was injured.
In another incident, unidentified persons hurled a petrol bomb towards security forces posted on law and order duty in Noorbagh area of Srinagar, an official said, adding nobody was injured in this too. In Awantipora area of Pulwama in south Kashmir, a mob beat up and injured wife and daughter of a police Sub- Inspector Mohammad Ashraf Pal and damaged his house. The injured were shifted to Sub District Hospital Awantipora where their condition is stated to be stable. Meanwhile, restrictions continued on the movement of people in Srinagar and four districts of south Kashmir, officials said.

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