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PM appeals for calm in Kashmir Valley


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to maintain calm so that the situation can normalise in the violence-hit Valley even as he hoped that no innocent person faces inconvenience or loss.

Chairing a high-level meeting here on the situation in Kashmir Valley, where 24 people have lost lives in the protests triggered by the killing of Hizbul militant commander Burhan Wani, Modi voiced concern over the situation in the state.

“He has appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to maintain peace so that the situation can normalise. He 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.

The Prime Minister also expressed satisfaction over the progress of the Amarnath Yatra and said whatever help needed by the state government will be provided by the Centre.

Singh said the Prime Minister voiced concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, gave guidance and also appealed for peace.

The meeting was convened within hours of Modi’s return from his visit to four African countries.

The Prime Minister was given a detailed presentation of the situation prevailing in the Valley which has witnessed escalating protests following the killing of Wani on Friday.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar among others.

“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.

Yesterday, Parrikar, Jaitley and Doval, who returned a day earlier from Africa where he was accompanying the Prime Minister, had met to discuss the situation.

The Ministers were briefed by Chiefs of central security agencies about the steps taken to bring back peace and normalcy in the Valley.

All forces have been asked to ensure security of Amarnath pilgrims and enhance vigil along the border to check fresh attempts of infiltration from across the border.

Parrikar had told reporters that an overall assessment of security situation in Kashmir has to be done by the Home Ministry and Army was ready to provide any assistance like increasing force levels in any areas required.

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