Rajnath rushes to Valley amid signals of urgency

Home Minister to talk to a cross-section of people in Kashmir today; BSF personnel return to active duty in State after a gap of 12 years

Published: 24th August 2016 04:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2016 04:36 AM   |  A+A-

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh | AFP

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR:With signals of urgency emanating from Kashmir, the Union government decided to send Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the Valley on Wednesday. It will be a two-day visit -- his second to the troubled state in 30 days -- during which, he is expected to talk to a cross-section of the people.

Rajnath.jpgThis comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his “deep concern and pain” over the situation in Kashmir. On Tuesday, Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag made a day-long visit to 15 Corps in Srinagar. In a further reflection of the Centre’s urgency, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel returned to active duty in the Kashmir Valley on Monday, the first time they have been so deployed in 12 years.

They have set up camps in three schools in uptown Srinagar, including SP Higher Secondary School in Lal Chowk and DAV school in Jawahar Nagar. CRPF and SSB personnel have also been put up in temporary camps in schools in the Valley.

Kashmir has been under lockdown for the last 46 days. A police spokesman said there was an improvement in the situation and curfew was lifted from most areas of Srinagar on Tuesday. At the same time, he said it remained in force in eight police station areas in the city and in Anantnag in South Kashmir.

On Day 46 of the current trouble, normal life remained crippled in the Kashmir Valley and dozens of people were injured in fresh clashes. All educational institutions have been closed since the unrest broke out following the killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Police, CRPF, SSB and BSF men have been deployed to prevent people from coming out onto the roads to demonstrate. However, clashes between stone-pelting youngsters and security personnel continued in Shopian in South Kashmir, requiring the latter to fire tear gas shells and pellets. At least 20 persons sustained injuries, most of them hit by pellets. Clashes were also reported from other parts of the Valley.

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