Curfew, separatist shutdown enters 15th day in Kashmir; Rajnath to visit

Curfew, separatist shutdown enters 15th day in Kashmir; Rajnath to visit

Srinagar, July 23: Life remained paralysed in the Kashmir Valley as curfew, restrictions and separatists called shutdown continued for the 15th day on Saturday.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to begin his two-day trip to Kashmir on Saturday, marking his second visit this month to the conflict-ridden region.

He first visited on July 2 after eight CRPF troopers were killed by militants in Pampore area of Pulwama district. Singh had also performed the Amarnath Yatra.

The Union Home Minister is scheduled to meet official and public delegations later in the day in an effort to end the impasse brought about in the Valley since July 9, a day after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed along two of its associates in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Official sources said Singh will also visit some areas in south Kashmir affected by the ongoing violence which has claimed 48 lives — 46 civilians and two policemen — so far.

Officials said strict curfew will continue in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts while restrictions will remain in force in the rest of the Valley.

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Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh would arrive here on Saturday morning on a two-day visit to take stock of the law and order situation in the Vally.

The Union Home Minister would be accompanied by the Directors General (DGs) of paramilitary, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

According to the official sources, Singh would chair a high level security meeting in summer capital Srinagar in addition to one-on-one interaction with state Governor Narinder Nath Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Rajnath is scheduled to fly back to Delhi on Sunday afternoon.

The Valley has been reeling under a widespread unrest for the last 15 days during which 48 people, including 46 civilians and two policemen have been killed.

The ongoing cycle of violence started on July 9, days after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed along two of its associates in a gunfight with the security forces in Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The centre has already sent over 3,000 paramilitary troops to the state to assist the state government restore peace in the trouble-torn valley.

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