A file photo of a protest in Kashmir valley. Photo: AP
A file photo of a protest in Kashmir valley. Photo: AP

Rajnath Singh may lead all-party team to Kashmir on 3 September

As unrest in Kashmir valley continued for the 51st consecutive day, home minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation with top BJP leaders

New Delhi: Home minister Rajnath Singh is likely to lead an all-party delegation which will visit Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on 3 September even as the state continues to be on edge.

As unrest in Kashmir valley continued for the 51st consecutive day on Sunday, the home minister reviewed the situation with top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and government functionaries.

Singh went into a huddle with BJP president Amit Shah, finance minister Arun Jaitley and minister of state in the prime minister’s office (PMO) Jitendra Singh and discussed with them the modalities of the all-party delegation visit.

People familiar with the matter said the meeting discussed possible individuals and groups with whom the delegation may interact. The government has sounded out different political parties to convey the names of their representatives who will be part of the delegation.

When asked about what transpired at the meeting, Jitendra Singh refused to elaborate, only telling reporters that “Rajnath Singh is a senior leader and we have come for margdarshan (guidance)".

The meeting came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the Kashmir situation in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio and a day after J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti met him.

Kashmir valley has been gripped by unrest ever since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on 8 July. Modi said in his Mann Ki Baat address that any life lost in Kashmir, whether of any youth or any security personnel, is the country’s loss.

“Ekta (unity) and mamata (affection) was the crux of all interactions I had recently on Kashmir situation," he said.

Modi said those pushing the youth towards stone-pelting in Kashmir will someday have to answer them. He also said all political parties spoke in one voice on Kashmir, sending out a strong message to the world as well as the separatists.

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