Authorities on Sunday lifted curfew and restrictions from several parts of the Kashmir Valley ahead of the arrival of a 28-member all-party delegation led by home minister Rajnath Singh.
The delegation will be in the Valley for two days to seek a peaceful solution to the unrest that has left 73 people, most of them civilians, dead in street protests that after a militant leader was killed in a gunfight with security forces on July 8.
A senior police official said there would be no curfew or restrictions anywhere in the Valley
“Sufficient deployment of security forces has been made to respond to any law and order problem that might occur during the day,” the official said.
Security was also tightened on the road leading to Srinagar city from the international airport.
The all-party delegation is expected to meet various local leaders.
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has written to separatist leaders requesting them to meet the delegation.
Mufti had on Saturday stressed the urgency of initiating an unconditional dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“The country’s political leadership must, without any further delay, reach out and engage all sections of society, including the leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, in a productive dialogue process to resolve the issue and make peace a reality in J&K,” she said.
Mufti, who wrote to the separatists in her capacity as the Peoples Democratic Party chief, asked them to suggest a time and place of their convenience to meet the delegation. However, there has been no positive response to the request.
Different trader organisations have said they would not meet the delegation unless it begins the visit with a meeting with the separatists.
The delegation will review the situation and explore ways to end the unrest that has paralysed normal life in the Valley for 58 days.
Ahead of the visit, the Centre approved a chilli-based shell as an alternative to the controversial pellet guns to control stone-pelting mobs. Several protesters have injured their eyes and pellet guns, considered non-lethal weapons, have added to the anger in the Valley.
The government is unlikely to ban the gun that will be used in the rarest of rare cases. Security forces have struggled to control crowds as tear shells have failed to deter protesters.