Opposition parties from Jammu and Kashmir, led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, met President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday apprising him of the fragile situation in the state. Kashmir valley has been reeling under curfew ever since the spike in tension following the encounter killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani on July 8.
Leading the delegation of opposition leaders, Omar Abdullah was accompanied by Congress leaders led by state PCC chief GA Mir, CPM leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, Independent MLA Hakeem Yasin and others.
“The failure of the central government to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature has worsened the already volatile situation,” Omar Abdullah told the press after an hour-long meeting with the President.
“We have requested the President to impress upon the central government to initiate a credible and meaningful process of political dialogue without any further delay involving all stakeholders to address the political issue in the state,” he added.
The major opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir – JK National Conference, Congress party, CPI and Independent leaders – had held a meeting on Wednesday where they passed the resolution to take up the matter with the President of the Union.
More than 65 persons, including two policemen, have been killed and thousands have left wounded, some with serious irreversible eye injuries, in the clashes between the security forces and the stone-pelting protesters.
Acting on the resolution passed in their joint meeting on Wednesday, the delegation will demand a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into allegations of excessive use of force by security personnel besides urging the Centre for holding a dialogue with all stakeholders.
Alleging that the Mehbooba Mufti-led state government and even the central government have “mishandled” the situation, Omar and other Opposition parties have expressed worries over youths getting killed and injured in the clashes with security forces.
“The first step is to admit and recognise the anger and then take steps to address it. So far that has not happened,” Omar had said after the all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 12.
During the Opposition party meeting on August 17, a set of five recommendations were given which included that initiation of a meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders, judicial probe, immediate halt of unnecessary harrasment of people in areas which are peaceful and immediate ban on use of pellet guns.
The meeting had also appealed to the people of the state and all stakeholders to continue safeguarding and upholding legacy of Jammu and Kashmir which has always been a beacon of communal harmony and religious tolerance at all costs.
(With inputs from the PTI)