The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh take immediate initiatives to tackle violence in Jammu & Kashmir.

Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told journalists here on Saturday that the situation there had turned serious, threatening national security.

The CPI(M) wanted the Centre to convene a meeting of all parties, elicit their views and move ahead with their full backing to tackle the situation.

“A consensus should be evolved among the political parties and the government should treat the situation as a national issue.”

He said the developments in Srinagar and the Kashmir valley ought to be seen in the context of Foreign Secretary-level talks initiated by the governments of India and Pakistan. He said terrorist and anti-India forces were trying to derail the talks process, and exploiting the dissatisfaction among Kashmiri youth over non-implementation of the assurances given by the UPA government for improving their economic situation and providing jobs.

The government was yet to initiate a concrete dialogue as assured by it, and the ‘excesses' by the Central Reserve Police Forces were further complicating the situation. “The moment you start a dialogue, there will be significant de-escalation of tension in the area,” he said.

Replying to queries on the Army deployment in the valley, he said it was for the Centre to respond on the issue which involved borders and sovereignty of the country.

Mr. Yechury wanted the government to adopt a ‘multi-pronged approach' to tackle the Maoist problem, and re-establishment of civilian administration in the affected areas should be the top priority. Efforts should be made to address the feeling of alienation — not only among tribals but also among those in the mineral-rich areas, where people felt their rights were being encroached upon by private miners.

There was lack of coordination among the affected States such as West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar where governments of different parties were in power. Price rise would be the major issue in the coming monsoon session of Parliament. The Left, along with secular opposition parties including the Telugu Desam, the AIADMK and the JD(S), would mount pressure on the Centre to roll back the recent hike in fuel prices, Mr.Yechury said.

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