Situation in Kashmir improves, free movement of trucks: Centre

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New Delhi, Aug 18 (UNI) The Centre today tried to make light of the situation arising from Kashmiri separatists group going to the UN office in Srinagar and shouting anti-India slogans by saying due to the 'effective and efficacious strategy' adopted by it the march passed off peacefully without any violence or loss of life.

Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta said here it was not correct to say that the situation in the Kashmir valley has reverted to the situation in 1989 and asserted that the government was determined to see that peace and normalcy returned to the sensitive state and public order was maintained.

He said movement of goods and traffic has been normalised with over 450 trucks loaded with essential commodities going from Jammu to Srinagar and a large number of trucks laden with fruit coming from the Valley.

According to him, the people marching to the UN Military Observors Group in India and Pakistan office were not stopped and they submitted their memorandum as both the Centre and the state government felt that any situation could be tackled with minimum use of force and to ensure that no disturbance, violence or loss of lives took place.

The state government talked to concerned people and since going to the UN office and submitting memorandum was nothing unusual as protestors go here (in the national capital) also to submit their memorandum and are not stopped.

Admitting that a sizable number of people courted arrest on the call of the Sri Amarnath Samgharsh Samiti and some incidents of stone pelting happened but the crowd was dispersed, he said the government was working to create an environment conducive for talks and addressing the issue in a peacful manner so that a reasonable solution could be found.

Refusing to go into the speculation if the Assembly polls in the state would be delayed due to the present situation, he said once peace and normalcy was restored, the democratic process could begin without any disruption.

Reiterating that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, Mr Gupta said it was very important that peace and amity between all the regions and people of the state was maintained. Asked about the shouting of anti-India slogans in the Valley and raising of separatists flags and the government remaining a mute spectator, the Home Secretary said to bring peace efficacious, effective and practical steps were taken. He said the Amarnath Yatra and arrangements of its facilities, security and disaster management would go on.


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