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Nation in the last phase of militancy, say Union Ministers

first_imgTwo Union Ministers, Jitendra Singh and Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, who praised the Kashmir civil society for condemning the attack on Amarnath pilgrims, said on Wednesday that “India is in the last phase of militancy.”“We are here on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express our solidarity. The common youth of Kashmir is keen to be part of the development journey led by the Prime Minister,” said Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office. He said the unanimous condemnation “clearly indicates that there is no place for such acts in the Valley.” “I hail and appreciate the widespread condemnation. Earlier there used to be a selective condemnation,” Dr. Singh said. Refusing to name the group behind the attack, which left seven pilgrims dead, Dr. Singh said, “No one should jump to any conclusion. Let’s wait for definite inputs from the security agencies.” The Ministers met Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, besides security agencies, and discussed the security situation. “The collective response showed no one can kill Kashmiriyat. After many years everyone in Kashmir is on the same page on something. We all believe this [the attack] is not what Kashmir stands for,” Ms. Mufti reportedly told the Ministers. ‘Nationalistic rhetoric’Reacting to Dr. Singh’s remarks, separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, said in a joint statement: “Resorting to nationalistic rhetoric, denial of ground realities and degrading the resistance leadership will not help in changing the grave situation in Kashmir for the better.” A number of tour and travel bodies condemned the attack, with tourist hotspot Pahalgam witnessing a shutdown over the incident.Srinagar youth in militant ranksMeanwhile, three Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an encounter at Budgam. Two of them belonged to Srinagar, which was a militancy-free zone for 12 years. The Valley witnessed clashes, stone-throwing and curfew-like restrictions during their funeral. The three were trapped in a house during a cordon operation in the Redbugh area. “They were engaged in a gunfight till morning. The house was blasted with improvised explosive devices. All the three bodies were recovered from the debris,” said a police official. One self-loading rifle (SLR) and a pistol were recovered from the encounter site. The police are verifying if the SLR was a snatchedservice rifle.The police identified the slain militants as Aaqib Gul, a resident of Srinagar’s Goripora area, Sajid Ahmad Gilkar of Srinagar’s Malaratta, and Javaid Ahmad Sheikh from Budgam’s Beerwah.Ground realityIt was in 2005 that two militants from Srinagar, Ibrahim Dar and Ishfaq Ahmad Rather, were killed in an encounter on the city outskirts. Since then, Srinagar was declared a militancy-free zone with no local armed militant. In the past one year, the police figures suggest that 11 youth from Srinagar have turned to militancy.A resident of the old city, Gilkar, who was a known protester and booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on several occasions, had joined militancy just 10 days ago.Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the city to keep protesters at the bay. Major clashes broke out when the militant’s body reached Nowahatta. Locals alleged that security forces used pellet shotguns on the mourners. Scores of protesters were injured. Earlier in the day, several areas witnessed spontaneous shutdown and stone throwing.Four rounds of funeral prayers were held for slain Sheikh in Budgam. Protesters were seen marching on the city roads at Hyderpora and performed the funeral of Gul on the roadside. Demonstrators’ attempt to go to Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s residence was disallowed by the security forces.Youth were seen unfurling the banners of Hizb commander Burhan Wani and split faction head Zakir Mussa during these funerals. Clashes broke out on the road connecting the airport with the city as youth raised anti-India slogans.last_img

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