Srinagar: A six-member delegation of Opposition National Conference on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and demanded immediate ban on use of pellet guns and initiation of dialogue with all stakeholders on Kashmir.
The National Conference delegation was led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah and interacted with Singh for 45 minutes, official sources said. They said the delegation urged the Home Minister to immediately ban use of pellet guns as a crowd control means in Kashmir.
“They also demanded that Centre initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir to find a lasting solution to the problems faced by the state,” a source said.
Omar had led a delegation of Opposition parties to New Delhi last week where they called on President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to apprise them about the ground situation in Kashmir. Omar thanked Singh for promptness of the Centre in exhibiting “seriousness” about the suggestions made by the Opposition parties during their visit to Delhi.
Singh arrived here to review the security situation in the wake of clashes between protestors and security forces that have left 66 people dead, including two police personnel. Among them is a youth who was killed in fresh clashes in Pulwama on Wednesday. The clashes erupted a day after terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
Singh’s visit to Kashmir is apparently a follow up to Modi’s interaction with the Omar-led delegation of Opposition parties in the union capital on Monday. Singh, who is accompanied by Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, said he was open to meet anyone “who believe in Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat” during his stay in Srinagar.
“Leaving New Delhi for Srinagar on a two-day visit. Shall interact with civil society groups, political parties and other stakeholders,” the Home minister tweeted before heading for Kashmir.