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Amid continued tension in the Valley, Omar meets PM, CSS members

Monday, August 02, 2010 03:53:18 PM, Agencies

Violence in Kashmir escalates, death toll goes up: At least eight people were killed in fresh round of violence in Kashmir, taking the death toll since Friday to 14. Four people were killed  ..... Read Full

Srinagar: Amid continued tension in the Kashmir Valley, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Cabinet Committee of Security (CSS) to discuss the current situation and find an administrative and political way out.


All the members of the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna were present at the meeting, which comes in the wake of the Valley witnessing a fresh spell of violence that has left 15 people dead.

During the meeting, Omar raised issues including the need for additional forces and initiation of “internal and external” dialogue with people concerned.

The meeting comes a day after the CCS met to discuss the political and administrative steps needed to be taken to defuse the escalating situation in the Valley.


Tension in the Valley

Meanwhile, the valley continues to be tense even today and curfew remained in force in the entire Kashmir Valley which has been hit by a fresh wave of violence since Friday.

One person identified as Tariq Ahmed, who was hit by a teargas shell three days back in Bijbehara in south Kashmir, succumbed to his injuries last night, police sources said.

With his death, the total number of people who died in the Valley since Friday has gone upto 15 which includes eight persons who were killed in separate incidents on Sunday.

Security forces maintained a tight vigil across all the ten districts in Kashmir to maintain law and order, the sources said.

In New Delhi, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had met last night for the second time in a month to take stock of the situation.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister has appealed for calm and asked political parties and leaders to cooperate with the Government for return of peace in the state. He has vowed to deal sternly with law breakers and the perpetrators of violence, asserting that he will not allow them "to win".

Among those killed in protests yesterday were four civilians who had died when a mob last night set afire a police station, where explosives and a LPG cylinder were kept, triggering a massive blast in Khrew area on outskirts of Srinagar city. A fifth person succumbed to injuries later in the night while another was in a very critical condition, police had said.

A mob had also laid siege to the police station, 20 kms from here, and started pelting stones after which additional forces were rushed to the area who rescued the police personnel in the police station. Army personnel were involved in the rescue work.

Protesters had also attempted to set afire a police post in Khrew and take away the weapons. As the crowd refused to calm down, police fired at them leading to the death of a woman identified as Afrosa.

In other incidents, two persons were killed as police opened fire to disperse mobs who blocked a national highway on the city outskirts.

The situation in saffron-rich area of Pampore turned ugly when agitators blocked NH-1A at a number of places by erecting barricades from Pantha Chowk to Pampore, a police spokesman had said.

The mobs blocked the highway at Galandar, Kadlabal, Barsoo, Frastabal and Pampore and also torched office-cum-residence of a tehsildar. They set afire a police vehicle and damaged several others.

The protesters snatched weapons from local court guards and also indulged in heavy stone pelting on a police station and security personnel, the spokesman had said, adding the situation turned worse when suspected terrorists fired on the personnel from amongst them.




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