Govt expects law and order problems on Friday prayers; toll rises to 44


kashmir unrestThe death toll in Jammu and Kashmir rose to 44 with a youth, injured in clashes a few days ago, succumbing on July 22, while the curfew continues in all 10 districts of the Valley .

Curfew was clamped as a precautionary measure, said the police. In view of Friday prayers, the administration was expecting law and order problems in Srinagar.

The J&K government had eased curfew in four districts on July 21—Baramulla, Bandipora, Budgam and Ganderbal to facilitate reopening of schools. Most schools in these districts remained closed as parents chose not to send their children to school.

Mobile telephony and mobile internet services remained suspended for the 14th consecutive day on July 22. Normal life was paralysed for two weeks now due to curfew and a separatist-sponsored strike.

Meanwhile, chairing an all-party meeting, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that all stakeholders should be taken on board to address the problems facing J&K and also favoured resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process.

“The Centre along with all stakeholders should pursue politically-inclusive and developmentally-intensive agenda to redress the internal and external problems of J&K, she said.

“If tangible steps are taken, a new course for J&K can be chalked out by reaching out to one and all”, the government would act as a facilitator for resolving the challenges and problems facing Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

“I am pained by the eye injuries caused to some youth due to pellets guns,” said an emotional Mufti. “This method of crowd control will have to be done away with.”

The meeting, which began after paying homage to those killed, passed three resolutions. It called for converting the political consensus into a national initiative for addressing the ills facing the sate The meeting was, however, boycotted by National Conference, which termed it a futile exercise.