Clashes in old Srinagar post CM’s function

Talks between India, Pak shows farsightedness: CM

Clashes in old Srinagar post CM's functionProtests and clashes erupted in old Srinagar immediately after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed attended a function in Nowhatta today. The clashes continued for around an hour.

It was the for the first time after becoming the Chief Minister that Mufti attended any function in the old city, a separatist bastion.

Eyewitnesses said stone throwing started immediately after the Chief Minister inaugurated a community hall in the Nowhatta area and left the venue.

“A few youths appeared in the locality and threw stones on policemen. The clashes continued for at least an hour. The situation was peaceful during the Chief Minister’s visit,” an official said.

Security was beefed up across Srinagar during the Chief Minister’s tour of the summer capital. The Chief Minister addressed an public gathering after laying the foundation stone of a flyover near the TRC Junction.

Mufti asserted that the government would remain totally focused on development of the summer capital, which bore the brunt of the unprecedented deluge in September, 2014.

Spelling out his plan to develop Srinagar as a smart city, the Chief Minister dwelt at length upon specific initiatives conceptualised for its major facelift.

He said since Srinagar bore the brunt of floods, an adequate portion of the economic and relief package announced by the Centre had been earmarked for flood-protection measures and infrastructure restoration.

“The administration has become proactive and is geared up to ameliorate the suffering of people,” he assured the gathering.

On resumption of talks between New Delhi and Islamabad, Mufti hailed the Prime Ministers of both countries for their farsightedness and maturity in extending the hand of friendship towards each other.

He said the voices of people of Jammu and Kashmir had been heard and hoped that the two countries would engage in a comprehensive and sustained dialogue to reduce trust deficit.

He expressed the hope that it would pave the way for more people-to-people contact, confidence-building measures and broadening scope of trade across the Line of Control (LoC) and international border.

“I hope that the fresh reconciliatory moves between India and Pakistan will break new ground and result in lasting and sustained peace in the region,” he said. He added that cross-LoC trade and travel would get a fillip in the future.

The Chief Minister reiterated his commitment to empowering people by holding urban local body and panchayat elections as per schedule.

On the implementation of the National Food Security Act in the state, he said the government had taken a big decision to provide ration to people on subsidised rates as per the 2011 Census.

“However, we welcome suggestions and will ensure that all stakeholders will be taken on board on the Act,” he further said.

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