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Rajnath Singh in Kashmir for Talks, Separatists Under House Arrest

CNN-News18

Last Updated: August 24, 2016, 13:48 IST

Rajnath Singh in Kashmir for Talks, Separatists Under House Arrest

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is in Kashmir for two-day talks with various stakeholders to end the unrest in the valley but he is unlikely to meet separatist leaders who are under house arrest.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is in Kashmir for two-day talks with various stakeholders to end the unrest in the valley but he is unlikely to meet separatist leaders who are under house arrest.

Singh said on his arrival in Srinagar on Wednesday that he has invited all those who believe in 'Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat', invoking the famous approach of former prime minister AB Vajpayee which the Centre has vowed to follow.

Hours before the minister arrived, a youth died in fresh clashes between protesters and security forces in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.

Singh, who is accompanied by Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, will review the situation in Kashmir where as many as 66 persons have been killed and over 8000 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces that broke out in the wake of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter.

As the team hold talks, separatist leaders continue to be under house arrest making any meeting between them and the Home minister unlikely.

Separatist leader Mirwaiz Farooq told CNN-News18 that "Kashmir has been converted into a jail" where essential commodities are not being allowed in.

Mirwaiz said, "New Delhi has closed its eyes as far as the realities on the ground are concerned and they are trying to parrot a script which will not lead to anything. Fact is, Kashmir has been literally converted into a jail. I am under house arrest for the last 46 days, my telephone lines have been cut, my internet has been disconnected.

""They make sure that none of the shops are allowed to open, they aren't even allowing essential commodities into the city, especially into downtown Srinagar, they are not allowing medicines, food," he added.

The Home Minister has said he would, "interact with civil society groups, political parties and other stakeholders."

Singh's second visit to Kashmir in a month comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction with a delegation of Opposition parties led by former state chief minister Omar Abdullah in the national capital on Monday.

Modi had expressed "deep concern and pain" over the situation there and had asked all political parties to work together to find a "permanent and lasting" solution to problems in Jammu and Kashmir.

first published:August 24, 2016, 13:32 IST
last updated:August 24, 2016, 13:48 IST