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Curfew lifted in Srinagar, Rajnath to visit Valley today

Large parts of the Valley have been under curfew for the past 45 days after militant leader Burhan Wani was neutralised by the security forces.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, it was announced that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will undertake a two-day visit to J&K beginning Wednesday during which he will review the situation and hold talks with a cross section of people. The timing of the visit is significant as it comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed “deep concern and pain” over the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

This is Rajnath Singh’s second visit in a month to the Valley which has been witnessing unrest since July 8 when Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces. As many as 65 people, including two policemen, have been killed and several thousands were injured so far in different incidents of violence. 

The Home Minister had said the Centre wants an emotional relationship with the state and not just need-based. He had emphasised that the Centre will talk to whosoever needed once peace and normalcy is restored in the state.

“As far as government of India is concerned, I want to make it clear that we don’t just want need-based ties, but to build an emotional relationship with Kashmir,” he said, reaching out to the people in the Valley while making a fervent appeal to them to help restore peace and normalcy in the state. On Monday, while meeting a joint opposition delegation led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his “deep concern and pain” over the situation there and asked all political parties to work together to find a “permanent and lasting” solution to problems in Jammu and Kashmir.

Curfew was lifted on Tuesday from most areas of Srinagar in view of the improving situation, even as normal life in the Valley remained affected for the 46th straight day due to restrictions and strikes in the wake of violence following killing of Wani. Curfew has been lifted from most areas of Srinagar district. However, it will remain in force in five police station areas of downtown city and Batamaloo, Maisuma and Kralkhud in the uptown, a police official said.

He said curfew was also in force in Anantnag town of south Kashmir. The official said the restrictions on the movement of people in many areas of the Valley were lifted following improvement in the situation. 
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