Union minister Rajnath Singh reached Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, his second trip this month, to hold talks on the unrest in the Valley. However, the government maintains that its first priority is to end the violence. As part of Singh’s two-day visit, he will interact with civil society groups, political parties and various other stakeholders. He has also invited everyone who believes in “Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat”—words of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is accompanying Singh in Srinagar. It is expected that the two will not meet separatist leaders, however. The government has accused separatist leaders of inciting violence and instigating the mobs.
Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that all talks should involve all stakeholders, including Pakistan. He called the situation in Kashmir a “political problem” which requires a “political solution. “It’s always separatists, Pakistan or traitors who are blamed and never the Indian establishment,” he added.
Meanwhile, in fresh violence between protestors and security forces in Pulwama district, a man was killed and nearly 40 injured on Wednesday. This takes the death toll to over 65. Parts of the state remain under curfew for the 47th day now.
Separately, the Centre rushed 56 companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) to Kashmir this week; the first time in 12 years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said nationalism is the identity of BJP. He added that the BJP’s recent yatra played a significant role in spreading unity, integrity and harmony. His statements are being perceived as a comment on the Kashmir issue in the wake of the violence.