All-party meet today to discuss Kashmir violence

Apart from ruling PDP and BJP, the opposition National Conference and Congress are expected to participate in the all-party meeting.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has convened an all-party meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss the worsening situation in the valley that has seen frequent gunfights between militants and security forces and deaths of civilians in firing during protests near these encounters.

Apart from ruling PDP and BJP, the opposition National Conference and Congress are expected to participate in the meet.

“In order to improve the situation, the government will have to stall Operation All Out, stop mass arrests and raids and initiate dialogue to diffuse the situation. They will have to start talking to separatists. We will be conveying these things in the all party meet,” said senior NC leader, Ali Mohammad Sagar.

The meeting was convened after chief minister Mehbooba Mufti met Governor NN Vohra at the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

“During the course of their hour and a half long meeting, Governor and Chief Minister discussed various important matters relating to counter-terrorist operations; continuing incidents of stone pelting; the death of a tourist and other concerns. They also discussed the growing radicalization and its grave impact in the educational sector,” the government’s official spokesperson said.

Two deaths in the span of 24 hours left Kashmir shaken even as they highlighted the worsening situation in the state. As the state was coming to grips with the death of a young tourist from Chennai, R Thirumani (22), on Monday evening from injuries sustained in stone pelting, another young man, 17-year-old Mohammad Iqbal, injured in firing in Shopian on Sunday, succumbed to injuries in hospital on Tuesday.

Kashmir limped back to normal on Wednesday after remaining shut for three days following the killings of eight militants in two encounters since Saturday. Seven civilians have also been killed during clashes near the encounter sites.

Forty one people – including militants, civilians and security personnel – were killed in various instances of violence across Kashmir in April. Twenty people have died so far this month.