National Conference, Congress stay away from I-Day celebrations in J&K

Srinagar: Opposition parties National Conference and Congress on Monday opted to stay away from the Independence Day celebrations at Bakhshi stadium in view of the ongoing unrest in Kashmir Valley.

“We decided to stay away from the functions as people of Kashmir have now been caged for more than a month and there is no improvement in the situation in the valley so far,” National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told PTI.

He said the party had submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the Valley but nothing has come out after the assurances he gave to the National Conference delegation.

“We had asked for stopping the use of pellet guns and other steps to be taken for improving the situation. The Home Minister had given assurances but nothing has happened,” Sagar said.

A Congress spokesman said none of the party leaders could make it to the Bakhshi stadium due to strict curfew imposed in the city.

He said the party, however, organised a function at its headquarters at Maulana Azad road in Lal Chowk area to hoist the national flag and celebrate the Independence day.

Normal life has remained paralysed for more than a month in Kashmir due to curfew, restrictions and separatist sponsored strike following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.

As many as 56 persons including two policemen have been killed and several thousand others have been injured in the clashes that began on July 9.