August 2016 News

Rajnath Invokes Kashmiriyat As Clashes Continue In Valley

24 August 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ehsan Fazili and Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to take stock of the current Kashmir unrest was marked by the death of a civilian in a clash and a grenade attack by militants in Pulwama district of south Kashmir today. At least 100 people were injured in other clashes between protesters and the police in different areas of the Valley. The Home Minister arrived here today on a two-day visit to take stock of the situation, during which he met the leaders of various political parties, civil society and top civil and security officers, on the 47th day of the unrest today. During his first visit on July 23 and 24, Rajnath had met leaders of various parties, top civil and security officers. Rajnath, accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, drove straight from the airport to the Nehru Guest House at Cheshma Shahi, overlooking the Dal Lake around noon. As he drove to the destination, the roads were deserted amid curfew, restrictions and shutdown to maintain law and order and protest recent civilian killings. Earlier, he invoked Vajpayee's mantra and tweeted: 'I will be staying at the Nehru Guest House. Those who believe in Kashmiriyat, insaniyat and jamhooriyat are welcome.' But by the time he reached the Nehru Guest House, a civilian was killed and several others injured in the clashes that took place near Pinglina in Pulwama district. The incident took place when the police tried to prevent a 'protest rally' at Vehil village, leading to clashes with the security forces. A youth, Aamir Gul Mir, of Ratnipora was seriously injured and nearly a dozen others were injured in the incident. Aamir succumbed to his injuries at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital here. With his death, the toll in the ongoing turmoil, which erupted after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8, has gone up to 68, including 66 civilians and two J&K policemen. At least 17 security personnel, including 13 CRPF men and four policemen, were injured when suspected militants lobbed a hand grenade and opened fire at them while mingling with a mob near Government Degree College, Pulwama. However, the residents contested the police claim of the militants having hidden in the crowd. The area was cordoned off and a search operation launched to nab the militants. The police said those injured included Additional Superintendent of Police, DSP and SHO of Pulwama. They have been shifted to Army's 92 base Hospital, Srinagar.