Group of Interlocuters to be appointed for dialogue in Kashmir

New Delhi, Sep.25 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Saturday that the Government will appoint a Group of Interlocutors under the Chairmanship of an eminent person to begin the process of sustained dialogue with political parties and groups in Kashmir.

He said that the State Government would be advised to consider release of youth arrested for stone pelting. The schools in the Kashmir Valley would also be reopened.

Chidambaram said that an an ex-gratia relief amount of rupees five lakhs would be given to the next of kin of those killed in clashes since June 11 this year.

He also announced Rs. 100 crore additional Central assistance to be given as educational grants for schools.

The Government would also examine the reduction of security force bunkers in Srinagar.

"Government of India will also appoint two Special Task Forces to develop the developmental needs to both areas, specifically infrastructure," Mr. Chidambaram said.

The Home Minister disclosed this after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) here today.

He informed that the CCS took the decisions on the assessment of the 39-member all-party delegation which visited Jammu and Kashmir recently.

On the issue of withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some districts of Kashmir, Mr. Chidambaram said suggestions on the AFSPA have to be taken first by the Unified Command in the state.

The All-Party Delegation visited the State following a cycle of violence that started about three months ago in the valley, which has rocked the Kashmir valley since June 11.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has described the Centre's decision as "a positive development." (ANI)

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