Kashmir worries New Delhi; Opp calls for all-party meet

Rajat Kain

Srinagar: Protesters throwing stones on police during a clash in Srinagar, August 3, 2016. Photo - PTI

Srinagar: Protesters throwing stones on police during a clash in Srinagar, August 3, 2016.
Photo – PTI

The prevailing fragile situation in Kashmir valley has caused concerns in New Delhi. While Opposition parties in Rajya Sabha demanded an all-party meeting to discuss the issue, Prime Minister Modi met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval taking stock of the situation in the valley, which is reeling under curfew for the last 31 days.

55 people have been killed and scores injured due to a sudden spurt in clashes between the security forces and locals following the encounter killing of militant poster boy and Hizbul commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

“We feel that the Centre and Prime Minister has not taken a serious note of situation in Kashmir… Hindustan ka taj jal raha hai lekin iski garmi dilli ki sarkaar tak nahin pahunchti…,” leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

The senior Congress leader also targeted Prime Minister saying why is he “silent” when the people of Kashmir are “eagerly waiting to hear him”.

Quoting the official statistics to underline the situation there, Azad said more than 5000 people have been left injured, 3300 security personnel have also been injured, 410 people have been operated for eye injuries and nearly 1000 youth have been detained thus far.

FILE: File photo of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Photo - PTI

FILE: File photo of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Photo – PTI

“This is not just a law and order situation… It is political, regional and developmental issue,” he said calling the need for an urgent all-party meet.

The Opposition leaders were particularly scathing over the use of controversial pellet guns by the security forces, which has left nearly 100 people lose their eyesight and some even battling serious injuries.

“It is inhuman… It is criminal…why are we using these pellet guns?” CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said adding, “I am told that even Isreal doesn’t use such guns on Palestinians, but in India we are using it against Kashmiris?”

“See the footage, see the ladies coming out, see the children coming out… I am afraid our remaining silent is only deepening the alienation…,” he said also urging for an all-party meeting and PM Modi to break his silence.

Sensing the gravity of the issue, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien asked the government if a discussion can be held on the issue. “Number of members are raising it… Why not we discuss it probably tomorrow so that we have a reply on it?” Kurien asked MoS Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

“We are committed for the peace, development and prosperity of Kashmir… I will take up the suggestions given by the leaders here and we might soon have a discussion on the issue,” Naqvi said on the floor of Rajya Sabha.

Several other leaders spoke over the issue, especially stressing on the need to stop the use of pellet guns and urged for sending an all-party delegation to the state.