New Delhi/Srinagar: As intense clashes between groups of students and the security forces erupted outside a Srinagar school on Monday morning and soon spread to the City's commercial hub Lal Chowk and its neighbourhood, state CM Mehbooba Mufti held a 20-minute meeting with the PM in New Delhi where she called for a return to the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's strategy of holding talks with the separatists.
She cautioned however that while Prime Minister Modi was amenable to holding talks with all stakeholders in the Valley, this would be possible only after the situation was normal. “We cannot have a constant confrontation and talks are the only way out. But for this, a favourable atmosphere has to be created. If talks could be held with the Hurriyat during the Vajpayee government’s tenure, when L.K. Advani was deputy prime minister, we can take that process forward,” Ms Mufti said, adding however that “talks cannot happen amid stone-pelting and firing of bullets,” and “the Prime Minister has every intention of holding talks after the situation becomes normal”.
On the increasing incidents of stone-pelting, the CM said this was largely done by disillusioned youth who were instigated through social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.
Home minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament earlier that Pakistan- based groups were provoking local people in the Valley to resort to stone-pelting against the security forces.
Earlier on Monday, the home minister reviewed the J&K situation with national security adviser Ajit Doval, home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Intelligence Bureau director Rajiv Jain and other top security officials. The security agencies have been directed to remain on high alert all through the summer in the Valley amid reports that subversive elements would not only increase attacks on the security forces but also use local residents to further step up violent protests. The coming summer months in the Valley, MHA officials said, were extremely critical from the security point of view.