Omar seeks centre’s help to douse Kashmir flames (Lead)

August 2nd, 2010 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday held a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the deteriorating law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley where an unending cycle of violence has left at least 30 people killed in less than two months.
Abdullah arrived in the capital Monday morning to meet Manmohan Singh at the prime minister’s 7 Race Course Road residence.

This was Manmohan Singh’s second meeting over Kashmir after he met members of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) Sunday night to assess the situation in the valley.

What transpired in the meeting Monday was not immediately known. But the chief minister is expected to address the media around 3.30 - 4 p.m. in the capital.

Sources said the chief minister has sought help from the central government and more paramilitary forces to be deployed in the valley to end the street violence.

Abdullah arrived in the capital in the backdrop of 15 deaths, mostly in firing by security forces, in the Kashmir Valley in the last four days.

Sunday was the bloodiest day in the valley in recent months. Frenzied mobs torched government offices, police camps and vehicles in south Kashmir areas after blocking the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway by felling trees and erecting stone barricades.

The central government, the sources said, wants the state government to get tough with trouble-makers who are inciting mobs to indulge in violence.

Chidambaram is also likely to make a statement in parliament later Monday.

Stating that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir had “taken a serious turn”, the home minister said in the Lok Sabha that he would make a statement after discussions with Abdullah.

“Jammu and Kashmir is a very sensitive state. Over the last few days the situation has taken a serious turn. After July 9 there was lull in the situation but it has again become grave,” Chidambaram told the house, after opposition members expressed their concern over the worsening situation in the Kashmir Valley.

“The chief minister is in Delhi. I have had many discussions with him over the last few weeks. There will be more discussions. If it is possible I will come back to the house today (to make a statement after meeting Omar Abdullah) or I shall do it as early as possible,” the home minister said.

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