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‘Kashmir situation will explode if Centre doesn’t take steps’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018

Congress leaders also said the Centre has to scale down the use of force and pellet guns on protesters, and initiate dialogue.

As tension continued to grip Kashmir with more clashes being reported on Tuesday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was to head to the troubled Valley for two days to review the situation and possibly hold talks with a cross section of people.

The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the need for a dialogue in Kashmir, which has been under curfew for 45 days at a stretch. Modi yesterday met a delegation of opposition leaders from Jammu and Kashmir.

The Opposition has accused the Centre of being “rudderless” in Kashmir and insisted that the process of dialogue with all stakeholders be immediately initiated to restore normalcy in the Valley.

From the Congress, three top leaders — P Chidambaram, AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad — spoke out on Tuesday, asserting that an all-party delegation should be immediately sent to Kashmir.

“Yesterday’s meeting between PM and J&K opposition parties...if it is the first sign of fresh thinking, we must welcome it..next step should be sending All Parties Delegation to J&K,” tweeted former Home Minister Chidambaram.

Former Defence Minister Antony said the situation in Kashmir will “explode” if urgent steps are not initiated to find a solution. “The situation in Kashmir will explode and go out of hand if urgent steps are not initiated to find a solution,” he said while releasing a book written by a group of journalists from Kerala who visited Kashmir two years ago.

“Kashmir is a volcano now. There is mistrust, fear and anger among the minds of people, especially among the youth. The Centre should intervene immediately, otherwise there will be an explosion,” the Congress leader said.

According to Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Azad, the Centre has to scale down the use of force and pellet guns on protesters, and initiate dialogue.

“We had requested the PM in Parliament and at the all-party meeting that there should be a dialogue. Forty-six days have now passed and there is no sign of a thaw in Kashmir.

“Pellet guns use should be stopped. The Home Minister is going, it’s a good thing. But I don’t believe we can only use lathis, tear gas and pellets. Stop terrorising people,” he said in a statement here.

Published on August 23, 2016

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