Sonia expresses 'anguish', appeals for clam in Valley

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Srinagar, Jul 28: Congress president Sonia Gandhi today expressed "anguish" over the loss of 47 lives in violent clashes between protesters and security forces in Kashmir and urged people to shun the path of confrontation and embrace peace.

Violent clashes have rocked the Valley since July 8, when Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by security forces in an encounter.

Sonia Gandhi

"While expressing anguish over the loss of lives and grievous injuries caused to people, Gandhi appealed the people to shun the path of confrontation and maintain calm," a Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman said here.

The Congress president made the statement during a meeting with JKPCC chief G A Mir, who had called on her at her residence in Delhi today, the spokesman said in a statement.

"Mir called on Gandhi at her residence and briefed her about the current unrest prevailing in the Valley," he said. He said both the leaders discussed the socio-political scenario in the state and other issues of public importance.

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"Mir also apprised Gandhi about the losses caused in the backdrop of the protests in the Valley," he added. Kashmir remains fragile, though curfew was today lifted in the state, barring Anantnag town, as the situation improved. Yesterday, the curfew was re-imposed in parts of the Valley to thwart a separatist march to Kulgam district.

Normal life, however, remained paralysed for the 20th consecutive day today due to a strike called by separatists. Schools, colleges and business establishments remained closed while public transport vehicles remained off roads.

At least 5,500 people, including over 3,000 security forces' personnel, have been injured in the violence.


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