Members of all-party delegation to meet separatists

| Updated: Sep 04, 2016 23:01 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Sept. 4 (ANI): The members of the all-party delegation on Kashmir will be holding talks with the separatist leaders in Srinagar in order to bring normalcy in the valley. The all-party delegation members, including CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja, CPI (M) MLA Yousuf Tarigami and Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, have left to meet separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Before leaving for talks with the separatists, Yechury told ANI that the situation is very serious compared to 2008 and 2010. "It is important to understand the root of this discontent and tackle the situation otherwise it would be difficult to bring normalcy in the Valley. We are ready to talk with any stakeholder to restore normalcy. We don't want any more torture on the people of Kashmir," he added. Yechury said that they would hold talks with everyone, including the Hurriyat. However, there has been no official confirmation from the side of the separatists. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said they have discussed the situation in the valley with the all-party delegation and put forth their views. "The issue will be further discussed with the other parties and people," he added. Singh, however, downplayed posers when asked whether the all-party delegation would also hold talks with the separatists. "Whoever wants to meet the separatists are free to do so. Things will take place as the delegation wants," he added. Earlier today, the separatists rejected Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's invitation for talks with the all-party delegation. This came after Mehbooba appealed to all separatist leaders and other organizations to take the lead and engage with the all-party delegation. She also said the country's political leadership must reach out and engage all sections of society, including the leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, in a productive dialogue process. Mehbooba had earlier written to the separatist leadership requesting them to "take a lead and engage" with the delegation, "which will be the start of a credible and meaningful political dialogue and resolution process." The all-party delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, earlier in the day met Mehbooba and her predecessor National Conference's Omar Abdullah. During the two-day visit, the delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will interact with Governor N.N. Vohra besides holding meetings with the representatives of all political parties and others. After coming back, the delegation will convene a meeting and give suggestions on the basis of which the Centre will decide its future course of action. Earlier on Saturday, a preparatory meeting of the all-party delegation was held in New Delhi. The delegation was made aware of the prevailing situation in the state and contours of the tour during which they will hold talks with a cross-section of people. Ahead of the visit of the all-party delegation, the Centre approved the use of chilli-filled grenades as an alternative to pellet guns for crowd control. Kashmir has been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Wani on July 8 as more than 70 people have lost their lives. (ANI)