Youth vent ire at all-party team

Paradise lost: Resolve Kashmir through talks

The 39-member delegation, led by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, met people at  Tangmarg in north Kashmir where six people fell to the guns of the security forces and several buildings were set ablaze.

“If you think Kashmir is an integral part of India, don’t you feel pained while showering bullets on us,” a local youth, Gulzar Ahmad, asked the home minister, giving vent to the frustration and anger over the killings of protestors by security forces.

Youngsters taking part in the discussion also demanded an end to the violence and resolution of Kashmir issue through talks between India, Pakistan and the Hurriyat Conference. They also asked the delegation to address the unemployment issue on a priority basis.

“Why are we being killed when the protest we conduct is peaceful and is held in a democratic way like in other parts of the country?” asked another youth, Mohammad Firoz.

The home minister was also asked about the role of the police and security forces and why they are being used to kill people in Kashmir when they are actually keeping peace in the rest of the country.

“In other states of the country we have not heard 108 civilians getting killed in police firing in three months. Why are we being killed and our mothers and sisters dishonoured,” asked a youth.

When the youth spoke of his fear that he would be targeted by the security forces for talking against them, Chidambaram assured him that such a thing would never happen and asked him to speak his mind freely.

Another group of the delegation led by the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, visited the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar, where many injured in the security firing were undergoing treatment.

The delegation was requested by a nurse in the hospital, Mukhti, to stop the firing against people in the state. The group had to immediately leave the hospital compound as a protest was organised in the place.

The delegation also called-off its planned visit to the Bone and Joint Hospital and Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences following protests.

The delegation brought to a close its two-day visit to Kashmir and went to Jmmu to meet people there. Following its departure, the state government relaxed the curfew, which remained in force since Sep 12.

The government had also relaxed the curfew for a few hours two days before the visit of the delegation. However, strict curfew was in place during the delegation’s visit.

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