Cabinet panel reviews Kashmir situation (Lead)

July 23rd, 2010 - 11:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The volatile situation in Jammu and Kashmir was reviewed at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) here, during which it was felt that the strict measures to contain the street protests should be eased in a phased manner, official sources said.
The meeting Thursday, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, heard reports from various ministries and agencies about the measures taken to restore normalcy in the valley, sources told IANS.

The central government is in constant touch with the state administration regarding the situation in Kashmir.

The strict measures enforced to contain the street protests and to ensure the rule of law should be eased in a phased manner only, the meeting felt.

There had been a decision in principle to hold talks with various Kashmiri groups, including political parties, community organisations, NGOs and even separatists.

However, Thursday’s meeting did not give any final shape to the proposal, sources said.

“The mood appears to be wait and watch. The government may await some more reports and inputs,” the sources said.

The Kashmir Valley has been rocked by stone pelting street protests for the past one month, resulting in the death of at least 18 civilians, mostly teenagers and youth, in alleged firing by security forces.

Following the flare-up, curfew was imposed in the summer capital Srinagar and several towns. The army was called in to stand-by for enforcing the security measures.

As the situation turned volatile, the prime minister called a special meeting of the CCS to discuss ways to restore normalcy. It asked Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to visit disturbed places and initiate “political action”, besides administrative measures.

Omar Abdulalh met Home Minister P. Chidambaram here July 17 and apprised him of the situation in the valley.

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