Kashmir unrest: Sonia sends two-member team to assess ground reality

New Delhi: With the situation in Jammu and Kashmir continuing to simmer on the tense side, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has sent a two-member team to the Valley to see the ground reality and take stock of the situation.

Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Ambika Soni will brief Sonia after returning from the state where tensions run high as clashes between security forces and the locals continue.

The Congress Party is expected to address a press conference in this regard at around 3 p.m. on the matter.

Earlier, Sonia had asserted that political parties must be allowed time to find “durable and enduring ways” to fulfill the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement issued with regard to the almost 30 lives lost in the state owing to clashes between protestors and security forces following the death of militant Burhan Wani in an encounter in the Tral region, she expressed deep anguish at the loss of innocent lives.

Yesterday, the Congress had lauded the role of security personnel in dealing strictly with stone-pelters and said the country stands firmly behind them.

“We laud the role of the security forces in dealing strictly with the separatists and stone-pelters. The people stand firmly behind the security forces and the Army,” the Congress said in a statement.

Meanwhile, curfew in the Valley continued for the ninth day today in an attempt to maintain law and order in the state, as well as preventing the people from staging demonstrations against the killing of Wani.

Around 38 people have been killed so far and several others injured after clashes between the protesters and security forces so far.

Cell phone services have been blocked and mobile internet in Jammu and Kashmir remains suspended.

The government has also blocked Cable TV networks across Kashmir Valley.

The violence has shown no signs of subsiding as the protesters on Saturday attacked a police post in Kupwara district in which a civilian was killed.

Two civilians were also reportedly injured in fresh incidents of violence in the area.

A mob attacked a police post at Hatmulla in Kupwara district, following which the security personnel retaliated.

On Friday, another protestor was killed and three others injured in fresh police firing in Kupwara district and another civilian died in South Kashmir district.

The incidents of violence continue to crop up despite the Centre and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti calling on the people of the state to maintain calm and cooperate with the state government to bring peace in the valley.

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