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Kashmir will be part of India: Farooq
PUNE/SRINAGAR, SEPT 18 (AGENCIES/IANS):
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Published on 19 Sep. 2010 1:26 AM IST
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National Conference President and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Farooq Abdullah, has said that Kashmir has been and will always remain a part of India.
Addressing the 22nd Pune Festival, Abdullah said: “”Many innocent children died (during the recent unrest in Kashmir). Many of our security persons got hurt.... But that is the price India has to pay if it has to remain united. Those forces that work to divide us, those forces that talk of independent Kashmir and those forces that talk of joining Pakistan, we have to defeat them at all cost.”
He also called for the revoking of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) where it had become redundant, reports ANI.
Abdullah said its withdrawal was the only way to restore peace and normalcy in the state.
“The AFSPA should be removed where there is no need for it. In the border areas, you have to keep it because we have danger from the neighbours, but where it is not needed, not necessary, gradually it should be lifted from there,” he added.
He also condemned the wave of unabated stone-pelting protests in the Kashmir Valley.
“There are crazy people who think that they would separate Kashmir from India by pelting stones. They have brought bombs and guns in the past, but India never cowed down. I promise you that even this time India will not be defeated and they will not succeed. They are just digging their own graves by propelling violence,” he added.
The recent eruption of violence has left the government searching for a new strategy for dealing with the protests.
At least 93 people have died in the last three months. The Kashmir Valley has also been subjected to a series of shutdowns and frequent curfews during this period.
Kashmir toll 98 in 100 days of unrest
The Kashmir Valley witnessed another bloody day Saturday as three people were killed in firing by security forces on protesting mobs, taking the toll in 100 days of unrest to 98 as authorities relaxed the indefinite curfew in parts of Srinagar and other areas to allow people to buy essentials. The body of a drowned youth was fished out from the Jhelum river in the morning, triggering more violent protests.
The latest to die in security forces firing was Ali Muhammad Waza, 32, who was injured in firing in Palhalan village in north Kashmir Baramulla district earlier in the day and succumbed to injuries in the evening. “Waza was injured in clashes with security forces earlier today and succumbed to critical injuries in a hospital this evening,” a police officer said here.
Earlier, another protester identified as Asrar Ahmad, 35, was killed when security forces intervened to disperse an unruly stone-pelting mob that blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla highway at Palhalan village.
The body of a youth, allegedly drowned after being chased by security forces during clashes in south Kashmir Anantnag town last week, was fished out from Jhelum river early Saturday, leading to protests during the funeral procession.
Noorul Amin, a protester, was killed in security forces firing in Anantnag town when unruly mobs carrying the body of Maroof Ahmad Nath, the drowned youth, resorted to violence and arson there. Authorities Saturday relaxed the indefinite six-day-long curfew for four hours in uptown areas of the city and later relaxed it for four hours in the old city areas as well.
“Curfew relaxation period passed off peaceful in the uptown Srinagar areas while some incidents of stone-pelting occurred in old city areas during the curfew relaxation period.
“By and large, the relaxation period passed off peacefully everywhere here today,” police here said. In many uptown areas of Srinagar city people came out in large numbers to buy essentials as they had not been able to do so because of the 24X7 six-day-long curfew, which was relaxed by the authorities after assessment of the law and order situation. Hardline separatist Hurriyat group headed by Syed Ali Geelani has asked people to observe a protest shutdown here Saturday and resume normal activities of life from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on all the 11 days for which the group has already issued a protest calendar.
The protest calendar is part of the Quit Kashmir campaign started by the separatists in the Valley.

 
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