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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will undertake a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir beginning Wednesday. According to reports, Rajnath is to be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other senior officials.
During his visit, he is likely to hold meetings with the state leadership. On Monday, Rajnath Singh held a meeting with senior security officials in which he was briefed on the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley and steps taken to restore peace. Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah led a delegation of Opposition members from the state to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging the government to stop the use of pellet guns. Abdullah had also submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Muherjee last week.
The Home Minister’s visit comes at a time when curfew is being lifted from parts of Srinagar. The restrictions on the movement of people in many areas of the Valley were also lifted following improvement in the situation. Barring a few stone-pelting incidents, most parts of Srinagar and the Valley remained largely peaceful throughout Monday. However restrictions on the assembly of four or more persons under Section 144 crpc will continue to remain imposed in the entire Valley to maintain law and order.
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Normal life in Srinagar and the Kashmir Valley has been crippled due to curfews that have been in place since the outbreak of protests against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
The clashes that erupted between security forces and protesters in the aftermath has resulted in 68 deaths. The most recent casualty was an 18-year-old when he was hit by a tear-gas shell used by the police to disperse a protesting crowd in downtown Srinagar on Sunday. Curfews have been in place in Srinagar and Kashmir Valley for 46 consecutive days as on July 23.