First peace, then talks in Kashmir: PC | india | Hindustan Times
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First peace, then talks in Kashmir: PC

As one more person died in firing by security forces in Kashmir on Wednesday, taking the toll in the last six days to 28, Union home minister P Chidambaram urged the state’s people to “heed the voices of reason and desist from violent protests”. HT reports. A night without end | Kashmir violence: In pics

india Updated: Aug 05, 2010 02:16 IST

As one more person died in firing by security forces in Kashmir on Wednesday, taking the toll in the last six days to 28, Union home minister P. Chidambaram urged the state’s people to “heed the voices of reason and desist from violent protests”.

He assured them that a dialogue to address their grievances would be initiated once normalcy returns.

In a statement to Parliament, Chidambaram had a word of encouragement for security forces too, praising them for acting with “commendable restraint in a highly volatile situation”. With 872 incidents of stone-pelting in June-July, resulting in injuries to 1,266 security personnel, the minister said the forces had been compelled to resort to firing but had been advised to exercise restraint.

Expressing regret over the loss of 39 lives in Kashmir since June 11, when the violence started, Chidambaram said the state government was considering several political and administrative measures. “But the chief minister, while affirming his commitment to these measures, has made it clear violence must end before he can take any initiative in this regard,” he said.

Chidambaram said the government recognises the issues concerning the state are “concerning our own people and they have to be addressed through the political process and through dialogue with all sections of people”.

In a special appeal to parents, he said: “Your children’s safety is our paramount consideration, as it must be yours, and I urge you to ensure they do not join the violent protests.”

In Lok Sabha, the BJP’s L.K. Advani said there should be a debate as members would like to know what the government is doing. A similar demand was made in Rajya Sabha.