Home minister reviews security situation in Jammu and Kashmir

Home minister reviews security situation in Jammu and Kashmir

Home minister reviews security situation in Jammu and Kashmir

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir after arriving in Srinagar for the second time in a month.

Singh also held meetings with the leaders of political parties, who urged the Centre to initiate a dialogue with all the stakeholders at the earliest.

The Home Minister, accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other officials, arrived here on a two-day visit to hold dialogue with a cross section of the society amid unrest and civilian killings.

He held a series of closed-door meetings with leaders of opposition parties, senior civil and police officers in Srinagar in an attempt to end the 47-day-long unrest, which has claimed 68 lives.

Prominent trade bodies in Srinagar refused to meet Singh, which was a  setback to the government’s efforts to bring back peace in the Valley.

However, main opposition parties National Conference (NC) and Congress leaders held separate meetings with the Home Minister. The Congress had boycotted meeting Singh during his last visit in July.

The six-member NC delegation led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, during their 45-minute meeting with Singh, demanded an immediate ban on the use of pellet guns, and the initiation of a dialogue with all stakeholders on Kashmir including separatists and Pakistan, sources said.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) chairman Mushtaq Ahmad told reporters that they decided to boycott the meeting with Home Minister as there is no change on the ground since the protests in Kashmir started.

“Pellets are being used, civilian killings continue, so meeting with any of the officials will prove to be a hoax,” he said.

Sources said that during his meeting with heads of different security agencies, the Home Minister asked them to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with protesters.

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