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Rajnath discusses Kashmir with opposition leaders

By The Assam Tribune

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday reached out to various political leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and discussed the situation prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir after Hizb militant Burhan Wani's killing.

"The Home Minister spoke to Sonia Gandhi, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and many others on the issue. It was like reaching out to all concerned to ensure peace in the valley," a Home Ministry source told IANS.

The minister urged all political parties to "speak in one voice" over Kashmir as the militancy-hit State had witnessed heightened tension and violence following Wani's killing on Friday last.

"The minister apprised them of the situation there and discussed ways and means to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir," the source said, adding that Rajnath Singh was hopeful of normalcy returning to the state soon.

The official said that the Amarnath Yatra was "never suspended officially" after violence erupted in the valley on Saturday and was continuing in a "controlled way". The yatra started on July 2.

At least 23 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces and curfew has been imposed in the valley since Saturday.

Amarnath Yatra resumes:According to another report, the Amarnath Yatra, which was suspended for three days, resumed on Monday afternoon with pilgrims leaving the Jammu city for Kashmir Valley.

"Amarnath-bound yatris left for the valley in 40 buses around 4.20 p.m. from Bhagawati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu city," a senior police official told IANS. "The convoy of the yatris is protected by the security forces who are escorting the pilgrims to the valley," he said.

Due to the prevailing law-and-order situation in Kashmir the yatra was suspended for the last three days as no pilgrim was allowed to proceed towards the valley during this period.

Meanwhile, authorities are arranging a special train which will leave Jammu around 8 pm on Monday to carry those pilgrims back home who reached the city in 200 buses from the valley after performing the yatra.

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