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Parliament LIVE: Kashmir Shouldn’t Become Kosovo, South Sudan, Says Vaiko; AAP Supports Govt Move

sanjay raut

Parliament LIVE: Home Minister Amit Shah today announced the government’s decision to repeal Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, leading to uproar in the Rajya Sabha. Several opposition parties, including the Congress and DMK, had given adjournment notices demanding answers from the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the political crisis in the state.

The move comes in the backdrop of three of Jammu and Kashmir’s most prominent politicians — Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajad Lone — being put under house arrest late Sunday night amid a massive security-built up in the state. Internet services and mobile services were suspended in several places and all public gatherings were banned in Srinagar district as section 144 was imposed from midnight.

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Sunday evening tweeted saying that he has been informed that an “unofficial curfew” was about to begin in Kashmir and mainstream leaders were going to be detained or kept under house arrest.

Earlier on Sunday, leaders of the mainstream political parties in Kashmir held an all party meeting in Srinagar to discuss the prevailing situation in the Valley.

Kashmir remained on edge as authorities stepped up security deployment at vital installations and sensitive areas amid heightened terror threat and flare up of hostilities with Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC).

After the Jammu and Kashmir administration curtailed the Amarnath Yatra and asked pilgrims and tourists to leave the valley at the earliest on Friday, anxious residents continue to throng markets to stock on essentials and serpentine queues have been visible outside shops and fuel stations.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, the mentor of Jammu and Kashmir state teams who was in Srinagar to oversee the trials for the U-16 (Vijay Merchant Trophy) and U-19 (Cooch Behar Trophy) squads, has left Srinagar, along with the young players. “We have for the time being postponed the second phase of junior team trials…since there has been a government advisory, I had a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association…Accordingly, it was decided that boys need to be sent back home,” Pathan was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Various educational institutions also directed their students to vacate hostels. Additional paramilitary forces, which arrived here last week, have been deployed across the city and in other vulnerable areas of Kashmir Valley, the officials said.

The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments in the city, they said. Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points to Srinagar, the summer capital of the state. Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where apprehension of law and order disturbances is more, the officials added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that it was the right time for US President Donald Trump to mediate on Kashmir turmoil.

Pakistan further warned India that it is ready to respond to any “misadventure or aggression” by the Indian forces, as the country’s top civil and military leadership discussed the sudden spike in tensions with New Delhi during a meeting of the National Security Committee.

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