TODAY -
Curfew lifted in the Valley of Kashmir
NC-Cong MLAs rally behind Omar

Source: The Sangai Express / Sumir Kaul/PTI

Srinagar, July 11 2010: Curfew was lifted in the entire Kashmir Valley today after six days with improvement in the situation even as the ruling coalition-National Conference and the Congress rallied behind beleaguered Chief Minister Omar Abdullah by expressing "full faith and confidence" in him.

The decision to end the curfew, clamped on July six after incidents of violence, came after the situation remained generally peaceful.

However, as a preventive step, prohibitory orders were imposed in Baramulla, Anantnag and Pulwama districts besides some parts of Srinagar.

In his first political initiative since trouble erupted in the Valley nearly a month ago, 40-year-old Omar called a meeting of legislators of the ruling coalition during which the present situation in the Valley was discussed threadbare.

The Chief Minister, whose leadership has come under attack during the turmoil, received a shot in the arm with legislators of his National Conference as well as that of the Congress rallying behind him and expressing "full faith and confidence" in his leadership.

The three-hour long meeting was attended by his father and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah as well as Congress State chief Saif-ud-din Soz.

Out of a total of 80 MLAs and MLCs, 77 were present at the meeting which came on the eve of tomorrow's all party meeting convened by Omar but is being boycotted by the main Opposition, PDP which has chosen to ignore Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal to participate in the meeting.

PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti sought the PM's intervention to defuse tension in the Valley.

During today's meeting of NC-Congress legislators, a resolution was passed asking all "right thinking people" irrespective of their political affiliations and ideologies, to come forward and extend their positive support in restoring peace and tranquility in the State.

On his part, Omar appealed to the legislators for initiating a mass contact programme with people of their respective constituencies.

He said the current protests were not a reflection on the governance of the State administration."We are deeply pained at the unfortunate happenings in the recent past in the State and sincerely express our anguish and grief over the loss of life and property in these incidents´┐Żour whole hearted sympathies are with the bereaved families.

The Government has decided to provide all possible help and relief to such aggrieved families," said a second resolution adopted during the meeting Another resolution appreciated the steps taken by the Government in restoring peace in the State.

"We appreciate the steps taken by the Government, in its sincere desire of restoring peace in the State with the firm conviction of holding/protecting the rights of the people and causing minimum inevitable inconvenience to the public at large".

Extending full cooperation to the Government, the two parties appealed to every shade of opinion to join in this endevour.

"We make a fervent and sincere appeal to all right thinking people irrespective of their political affiliations and ideologies to come forward at this crucial juncture and extend their active and positive support, and full cooperation in restoring peace and tranquility in the state for the larger good and in the best interests of the masses which is a sine-qua-non to the resolution of the issues and problems confronting them.

At the end the National Conference-Congress legislature party unanimously passed a resolution expressing full faith and confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Following the lifting of curfew, a few incidents were reported where small groups of people came out and shouted slogans and threw stones at the security forces, police said.

Twelve people, including one Farooq Ahmed of Narbal who was alleged to be a key instigator of violence in Sopore, were picked up as part of the crackdown on stone pelters.

Some youths came out in Maisuma and Nowhatta areas of Srinagar city but they were chased away by the police.


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