An all-party delegation on Sunday arrived in Kashmir in order to discuss a solution to the prevailing turbulence in the Valley. The delegation led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met a cross-section of people in this regard, detained Hurriyat leaders however, refused to meet non-BJP members of the delegation who attempted to reach out to them. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, Sharad Yadav of JD(U) and RJD’s Jay Prakash Narayan went to meet hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his residence, where the latter refused to open the doors for them.
Meanwhile, on Sunday more than 200 people were injured in clashes between stone pelters and security forces, while normal life remained paralysed for the 58th consecutive day. In reference to the issue, Singh held a press conference in Srinagar today.
01.34 pm: All party delegation on Kashmir, arrives in Jammu.
01.15 pm: SAS Geelani doesn’t want a system which conforms to democracy and secularism, says Ajay Chirangoo, President, Panun Kashmir
12.35 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh summons Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra to Delhi. Vohra will however, meet senior MHA officers before meeting Singh.
11.41 am: In response to a question asking whether he would indulge in any talks with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir, Rajnath Singh said, aap baat ko baahar na le jaaiye, main desh me rehne waalo se baat kar raha hun.
11.37 am: I do not want to debate about who said what in the past, says Singh.
11.33 am: When I came here in July, people had complained about pellet guns. I had then ordered a committee to be formed in this regard. The committee came up with an alternative non-lethal weapon. The use of PAVA shells won’t kill people. I was also told that students of Kashmir were unable to attend school or colleges due to the prevailing violence. I hereby give you the number of the concerned person who will be looking into this matter, says Singh.
11.32 am: Some member of the delegation went to meet Hurriyat leaders. We neither said yes or no for it. After those people returned, I can say that those people did not show Kashmiriyat or Insaniyat in such a case. These people attempted to talk to them, but those people refused, says Singh.
11.26 am: Everybody agrees to the fact that normalcy should be brought to Kashmir. I believe there has been some improvement in the condition of the Valley. There are no- second thoughts about the fact that Jammu and Kashmir has been an integral part of India and will always be, says Rajnath Singh
11.17 am: Well, it’s really unfortunate that the Hurriyat Conference has lost a golden opportunity. It’s not only a question of Mehbooba’s invitation to them, but the fact that a number of opposition leaders went to their homes, they were not even allowed entry, which goes against the grain Kashmir’s hospitality not even a glass of water was given to them. The entire Parliament was there and they brought with them the mandate of the country of the Indian Parliament so Hurriyat should have taken it far more seriously than what they did and that’s very unfortunate, said Press Club of India (PCI) president and senior journalist Rahul Jalali.
10.43 am: State and Central government have to take the political dialogue forward now, says CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury
10.39 am: Things were different last time, but this time separatists took a stand that they won’t talk, says Union Minister RV Paswan
09.30 am: Home Minister Rajnath Singh to hold a press conference in Srinagar at 11 am today.
08.20 am: The Janata Dal (United) today said the doors for talks are open to all and there is no need to be disappointed over the fact that the Hurriyat leaders in Srinagar refused to meet members of the all-party delegation to discuss the ongoing unrest in Kashmir.
08.02 am: “The Indian Government wants that all parties and stakeholders should come together and hold discussions, but if Geelaniji (Syed Ali Shah Geelani) feels that he should not talk, he could do what he feels is suitable. But, he will clearly be pushed to the corner because all parties are going to unite on the Kashmir issue,” BJP spokesperson Shaina NC.
08.00 am: The delegation has gone there. There is some confusion. I believe all should come together to restore peace in the Valley. The Hurriyat leaders have boycotted it. The people of Kashmir need peace and normalcy. There are many people in the delegation who actually have sympathies for the people of Kashmir. When an overall view will come, a decision will be taken, said Congress leader Meem Afzal in a conversation with ANI.
The delegation is visiting Kashmir in wake of the prolonged curfew prevailing for more more than 50 days. While thousands have been injured due to clashes that have been taking place between protesters and armed forces, death toll has climbed to 70. The turbulence is a result of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
During the first day of its visit, the delegation met about 200 members in about 30 delegations from various sections of society and listened to their point of view to reach at a common solution to the current scenario in Jammu and Kashmir, a statement from the Home Ministry said. While the delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, met mainstream sections, five members of the group broke away to meet the separatists. Prior to the small group attempting to meet them, separatists rejected Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s invitation to them for meeting with all-party delegation, terming such a measure as “deceitful” and insisting that it cannot be an alternative to a “transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue”.