50 days of Kashmir unrest: Mehbooba Mufti in Delhi to meet PM Narendra Modi - Firstpost
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50 days of Kashmir unrest: Mehbooba Mufti in Delhi to meet PM Narendra Modi

Separatists guerillas on Saturday killed a local policeman in Pulwama district in South Kashmir.

A senior police officer told IANS in summer capital Srinagar, "Selection grade constable Khurshid Ahmad Ganai was leaving his home in Koil village for duties when a militant appeared and shot him from a close range. The constable died on the spot."

Two days back, militant hiding in a mob had launched two grenades at the mob controlling security forces injuring 15 security men, including three officers in the same district.

Meanwhile, Kashmir continued to witness casualties on Friday as well with one more youth getting killed and several others getting injured in a clash between protesters and security forces. Curfew was in force in many parts of the Valley to thwart a planned march by separatists.

With this death, the toll in the ongoing 49-day unrest has reached 67.

Following the prolonged bout of violence and unrest in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday to discuss the situation in Kashmir. The Valley has been under curfew for past 48 days following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

The meeting comes close on the heels of a clear message from the Centre to the chief minister to control the growing unrest in the state. According to official sources, Mehbooba has been conveyed in no uncertain terms that there was a need for putting an end to the cycle of violence which has claimed 67 lives so far in the protest.

This is the first meeting between the Prime Minister and Mehbooba after the unrest broke in the Valley on 8 July. Mehbooba has been under fire for failing to control the violence as the Centre has made it clear that law and order was a state subject.

Mehbooba had strongly defended security forces action on Thursday during a press conference and had said "People came on streets, we imposed curfew. Did the children go to army camps to buy toffees (candy)? Was the 15-year-old boy, who attacked the police station at Damhal Hanjipora (in south Kashmir), going there to get milk..."

She had said "Today 95 per cent who have been killed are youngsters belonging to poor families. They were killed in retaliation for attacking security camps... The situations of 2010 and present cannot be compared." She claimed that 95 percent of people want to resolve the Kashmir issue through political means and dialogue but five per cent people were resorting to agitation.

Meanwhile, on Friday, curfew was extended to several areas of Kashmir to foil a planned march by separatists to Eidgah in old city area.

Curfew was extended to entire Srinagar district, Pulwama district and south Kashmir towns of Shopian and Anantnag.

North Kashmir towns of Baramulla, Pattan and Handwara were also placed under curfew while restrictions on assembly of people were in force in rest of the Valley, police said. Normal life remained paralysed for the 49th consecutive day due to curfew, restrictions and separatist-sponsored strike.

Shops, private offices, educational institutions and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport continued to be off roads. The attendance in government offices and banks was also affected, the official said. Mobile internet also continued to remain suspended in the entire Valley, where the outgoing facility on prepaid mobiles remained barred.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq attempted to take out processions to Eidgah but both were detained just when they left their residences where they are under house arrest. Mirwaiz, chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference, tried to take out the march along with his supporters from his Nigeen residence but was taken into custody. He was later shifted to Chashma Shahi Guest House.

Geelani, chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference, was also taken into custody as he tried to defy the house arrest orders, a police official said.

With inputs from PTI and IANS

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