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Curfew lifted in Valley, Rajnath to head all-party team on Sep 4

SRINAGAR, AUG 28 (UNI) Security personnel  patrolling at curfew bound Nowhatta area in down town Srinagar on Sunday. UNI PHOTO-8U
SRINAGAR, AUG 28 (UNI) Security personnel patrolling at curfew bound Nowhatta area in down town Srinagar on Sunday. UNI PHOTO-8U

Srinagar: After 51 long days, the Kashmir Valley on Monday saw curfew lifted from most places as police said the overall law and order situation generally remained calm.

The development comes ahead of an all-party delegation, headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, arriving here on September 4 to speak to various stakeholders so that the present cycle of violence is broken.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in Jammu that violence would yield no positive result and a peaceful dialogue remained the only way possible to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio that has seen over 70 people killed in clashes with security forces following the July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.

After curfew was lifted, private vehicles and three-wheelers moved freely in uptown areas of summer capital Srinagar on Monday as markets also opened in some interior areas.

Main markets and public transport, however, remained closed in Srinagar city and elsewhere in the Valley.

Police said 11 people were injured in clashes with the security forces in different places where youth pelted stones, but no serious injury was reported from anywhere.

Authorities had to reimpose curfew in Batmaloo area of Srinagar city where youth came out to start a protest march immediately after curfew was lifted.

Independent MLA Engineer Rashid was detained in Raj Bagh area of Srinagar city when he was going to a police station in the city along with some of his supporters.

The MLA had announced that he would lodge an FIR against the army in a local police station for forced labour of youths in south Kashmir.

When asked to identify the places where the army had allegedly forced youths into labour, the MLA told IANS: “I am acting on the statement of the state Chief Minister who recently said she had been responsible for freeing youths from forced labour by the army in south Kashmir.

“The intention of my lodging the FIR was to have those army personnel identified who, according to the Chief Minister, were responsible for pushing youth into forced labour.”

Mehbooba Mufti, in her address, also said that the vision of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee needed to be carried forward and that with a massive mandate Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the only person capable of walking the extra mile to bridge the chasm between India and Pakistan.

The last time an all-party delegation came to the Valley was during the 2010 unrest.

The delegation members had also called on senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani in 2010.

Given the hardening of postures, both by the central and the state governments, it is unlikely that the all-party delegation headed by Rajnath Singh would call on the separatist leaders.

All senior separatist leaders are presently under detention. While Syed Ali Geelani has been placed under house arrest, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was three days back shifted to a tourist hut in high security Chashma Shahi area of Srinagar city.

A notification by the state home department has declared as a ‘sub-jail’ the tourist hut where the Mirwaiz has been lodged.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik was shifted to Srinagar central jail after being lodged at a local police station for a few days after his arrest last month.

IANS

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