3 leaders express concern over deaths in Kashmir, demands security

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Srinagar, Aug 11 (UNI) Expressing serious concern over the loss of lives and injuries to people due to excessive use of force by the authorities, three senior political leaders today demanded reopening of the Muzaffarabad road and proper security arrangements on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

State Secretary CPI(M) Mohammad Yousuf Targami, President Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Party, Ghulam Hassan Mir and President Peoples Democratic Front (PDF), Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen in a joint statement issued here said it was very unfortunate that innocent lives were lost and many more got injured today, at various places in the valley due to excessive use of force by the authorities.

They said the people came out to protest against the economic blockade in Jammu. This situation, they said, has arisen because of virtual economic blockade of the Kashmir Valley with the traffic on National Highway being disrupted.

They said this highway is the lifeline of the Kashmir Valley, providing all essential goods and medicines.

People are highly agitated as the produce of Kashmir like apples and other perishable products are not being able to reach the market outside the State, they said adding this is bound to adversely affect the livelihood of the people.

They said if both the governments at Centre and State conceded the demand of ensuring security of National Highway on time, this unfortunate situation could have been avoided.

''We urge the government of India to act and act decisively, to ensure smooth traffic on National Highway and take up with Pakistan the opening of Srinagar-Muzfarabad road for trade and truck service on priority,'' they said.

They appealed to the entire political leadership of the State, irrespective of their ideological and political agendas to come forward to resolve the issues through dialogue.

The people of the state have already suffered enough and they should not be subjected to more pain, they said and added that the civil society in both the regions must come forward and enter into dialogue with each other.

It is only the process of dialogue within different segments of society which can help in healing up the wounds.

In the larger interest of communal and social harmony and in view of the interests of suffering people of our state, it is imperative that the flames of hatred and communal divide are doused urgently. Let all of us, stand up and speak for sanity and reconciliation, they added.

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