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Centre rushes more troops to quell Kashmir unrest

Kashmiri protestors clash with police during a protest in Srinagar on Monday. PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD.

Kashmiri protestors clash with police during a protest in Srinagar on Monday. PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD.  

With no let-up in violent clashes, arson and the cycle of death, and with separatist leaders asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to read “the writing on the wall,” the Centre rushed more troops to the Kashmir Valley and held emergency meetings to take stock of the situation.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held review meetings twice in New Delhi on Monday. In the morning, he met senior security and para-military officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who cut short his Africa visit with the Prime Minister.

Mr. Singh took stock again in the afternoon, this time with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Mr. Doval, the chiefs of the Research & Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau, and senior Army and the Border Security Force officials.

The MHA, which is in constant touch with the State government, has decided to dispatch 800 more Central Reserve Police Force personnel. According to sources, security has also been beefed up and the Amarnath Yatra partially resumed.

Ahead of the second meeting, Mr. Doval told the media: “We are quite confident and competent of finding solutions.”

The Home Minister also reached out to the Opposition, telephoning Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to discuss the fragile situation in the Kashmir Valley.

The Government’s outreach to the Opposition leaders is perhaps the first on security-related issues.

Separatists hardened stand as toll climbs to 30

In the meantime in the Valley, there was no end to the protests even as the death toll climbed to 30.

With no let-up in violent clashes, arson and the cycle of death, and with separatist leaders asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to read “the writing on the wall,” the Centre rushed more troops to the Kashmir Valley and held emergency meetings to take stock of the situation.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held review meetings twice in New Delhi on Monday. In the morning, he met senior security and para-military officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who cut short his Africa visit with the Prime Minister.

Mr. Singh took stock again in the afternoon, this time with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Mr. Doval, the chiefs of the Research & Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau, and senior Army and the Border Security Force officials.

The MHA, which is in constant touch with the State government, has decided to dispatch 800 more Central Reserve Police Force personnel. According to sources, security has also been beefed up and the Amarnath Yatra partially resumed.

Ahead of the second meeting, Mr. Doval told the media: “We are quite confident and competent of finding solutions.”

The Home Minister also reached out to the Opposition, telephoning Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to discuss the fragile situation in the Kashmir Valley.

The Government’s outreach to the Opposition leaders is perhaps the first on security-related issues.

In the meantime in the Valley, there was no end to the protests even as the death toll climbed. Hospital sources said nine more persons succumbed to their injuries in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 30. Officials could not confirm fresh deaths on Monday.

Funeral processions of two protesters sparked fresh violence in parts of Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts, forcing the security forces to fire and injure four persons.

“Arson and mob attacks were reported from 29 places in Srinagar, north and south Kashmir. Two police posts were set afire,” a police spokesman said.

Three persons were injured when militants fired at CRPF personnel in Bijbehara town’s Zirpora area, the police said.

A court complex in Dooru was also set on fire in south Kashmir, the epicentre of the violence. Sixteen protesters were wounded in CRPF firing in the Tral area, the hometown of Wani, when a camp was attacked by a mob. Several critically injured were shifted to Srinagar hospitals.

Just a day after Hurriyat faction leaders, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani, asked protesters to “maintain discipline” and “avoid direct confrontation with security forces,” the separatist leaders hardened their stand and extended the call for a shutdown and protests by two more days.

“July 13 (otherwise observed as Martyrs Day) will be observed as Reaffirmation Day,” Mr Geelani, the Mirwaiz and JKLF chief Yasin Malik said in a joint statement.

The separatist statement described the PDP-BJP coalition Government’s appeal to them to help in restoring normalcy as “childish and illogical.”







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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 12:59:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Centre-rushes-more-troops-to-quell-Kashmir-unrest/article14483450.ece

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