After 52 days of complete lockdown, curfew was lifted on Monday from major parts of Kasmir, except Pulwama. The valley had witnessed violence and shut-down since the killing of Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani last month and over 70 people have died and over 11,000 have been injured in violent clashes between protesters and security forces.
However, restrictions under the section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code or CrPC will still remain enforced in the valley.
This step comes after PM Narendra Modi’s Sunday address in Kashmir in his radio address “Mann Ki Baat” where he spoke of “ekta” (unity) and “mamata” (compassion) as the twin virtues that can bring peace in the valley. Drawing flak from India, earlier that day, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had also stepped up the offensive on Kashmir by nominating 22 parliamentarians as special envoys to world capitals to highlight the issue.
India has rebuked Pakistan on its offer for talks on Kashmir, citing Kashmir as an internal matter and saying it was open to discussing cross-border infiltration and terrorism only.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who also met the Prime Minister in Delhi on Saturday directly addressed the protesters and said, “I may have got angry with you and you may be angry with me, but give me a chance,” as she spoke about her ‘three-point plan’ that includes a Track 2 dialogue through eminent speakers from outside of government, and talks with separatists.
“Everyone wants the bloodshed to stop. But dialogue can only happen with those who want it. I appeal to the Hurriyat to help in getting peace back on the streets, to stop the killings,” Ms Mufti had said.