Two Weeks of Curfew in Kashmir Valley: CM Breaks Down At All Party Meet
SRINAGAR: Kashmir Valley is reeling under severe curfew on fourteenth day with another civilian succumbing to injuries today morning at the capital Srinagar's SMHS Hospital, taking the toll of deceased in the ongoing civil uprising to 45.
Amid simmering unrest, the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti yesterday broke down during the All Party Meeting while urging New Delhi to resume dialogue with the Hurriyat and Pakistan for "final settlement" of Kashmir issue.
The main Opposition party, National Conference, boycotted the meeting with Omar Abdullah, the party's working president, telling a local daily that the chief minister has been discredited by her own cabinet colleagues.
"The issue of ban on newspapers, she did not know; Burhan encounter, she did not know; excessive use of force, she did not know. Under such circumstances, where a CM doesn’t know what’s happening in her own government, what’s the point of calling us to the meeting?” Abdullah said.
Strict curfew has been imposed in the Valley to foil the Hurriyat's call for protests post Friday prayers. In the summer capital Srinagar, thousands of police and paramilitary troopers are deployed along roads that merge from the peripheries with the capital city.
Amid a massive security clampdown, police sources said checkpoints have been set up at over hundred places in the city and outskirts in order to enforce the curfew, prevent mass gathering and foil any protests.
However, anti-India and pro-freedom protests broke out in parts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Baramulla and Srinagar districts post Friday prayers where demonstrators clashed with security forces. There are no reports of any casualty or injury so far.
The death toll in the ongoing Kashmir unrest mounted to 45 today with another civilian, Ishtiyaq Ahmad, a resident of Kokernag area, succumbing to injuries at Srinagar's SKIMS last night.
According to doctors, he was admitted on July 10 with bullet injury in his chest. Over 2000 civilian protesters have been wounded in the past 14 days, making it the bloodiest phase recorded in Kashmir's recent troubled past.
At the All-Party Meeting yesterday, the chief minister, who had earlier in the day met some victim families in Anantnag, urged the political leadership of the state to "use their contacts" for "final resolution" of Kashmir issue.
The chief minister also appealed the centre to resume dialogue with the Hurriyat leadership and Pakistan so that the "political uncertainty" in the state can be ended.
According to an official spokesperson, the meeting adopted a three point resolution which, number one, calls for "inclusive engagement of all stakeholders" for peace and reconciliation in the state.
The participants, two, also "expressed deep grief and concern over the loss of life". Lastly, the meeting, while taking note of discussion in both houses of the Parliament, called for "converting this political consensus into a national initiative for addressing the problems confronting Jammu and Kashmir."
(Cover Photo of All Party Meet in Srinagar by Basit Zargar)