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Kashmir crisis: Death toll reaches 45, newspapers may hit stands today

india Updated: Jul 21, 2016 01:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside a closed market during curfew in Srinagar.(AP)

Uneasy calm prevailed for the 12th day in curfew-bound Kashmir Valley on Wednesday where one more person succumbed to injuries, raising the toll to 45.

Although authorities had expected an increase in incidents of violence due to Pakistan Black Day call, the Valley remained largely peaceful.

Local newspapers, which were banned after unrest erupted on July 8 over the death of Hizbul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in south Kashmir, are likely to hit the stands on Thursday, editors and owners of several publications decided at a meeting here on Wednesday.

The decision to resume the publications came hours after chief minister Mehbooba Mufti met the editors, assuring “independence of media”. Mufti’s political adviser Amitabh Mattoo had earlier said there was no ban on the press and that it was a result of “miscommunication”. But editors had refused to publish on Wednesday asking the government to “own up to the ban”.

Meanwhile, Army chief General Dalbir Singh reviewed the security situation during his visit to the Srinagar-based 15 Corps and he complimented the troops on ground “for showing maximum restraint even in the face of grave provocation”.

He also visited the Kupwara Division and Awantipur-based Victor Force where he was told about the initiatives taken by the army in collaboration with civil administration to tackle the unrest.

“He (Singh) expressed his grief and concern over the casualties of civilians and security forces during the protests while making an earnest appeal to the Awaam to maintain peace and help the security forces serve them better,” the army said in a statement.

Read | Pakistan observing ‘black day’ against Indian ‘atrocities’ in Kashmir

Read | Mehbooba convenes all party meet on Jul 21 to discuss law and order in Valley