Kashmir oppn parties meet PM Modi, call for immediate ban on deadly pellet guns


New Delhi: A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir's opposition leaders, led by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday seeking an "immediate" ban on pellet guns in the state. The delegation also urged Modi to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders in Kashmir.

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In this meeting opposition leaders discuss the situation in the Valley, caught in violent protests for more than 40 days now. The delegation, which arrived in the Capital on Saturday to mobilise the central leadership to “stop the cycle of killings in Valley’’, submitted a memorandum to Modi, saying failure to address the unrest would further deepen the sense of alienation.
The delegation, which includes CPM lawmaker Yusuf Tarigami and state Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, met the President on Saturday and called on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi a day later to convey “the seriousness of the situation”.

The meeting with the PM comes a day after finance minister Arun Jaitley called stone-pelters Pakistani stooges and said there would be no compromise with those indulging in violence. Clashes between civilians and security forces continued in the Valley on Sunday. A teenager, Irfan Ahmad, was killed in Srinagar when a tear-gas shell hit him in his chest, taking the death toll to 67.

Violent protests erupted in the Valley after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8. More than a thousand people have been injured, many of them left blinded by pellet guns, considered a safe option by the forces faced with stone-pelting mobs every day. But, pellet guns have caused deaths as well, which has led to the demand for a ban.

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