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Rajnath assures all support to Mehbooba

Rajnath Singh spoke on telephone to the Chief Minister after taking stock of the law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley, officials said

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday offered “all possible support” to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti following the death of 16 people in clashes with security forces.

Rajnath Singh spoke on telephone to the Chief Minister after taking stock of the law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley, officials said.

Curfew has been imposed in the Kashmir Valley after widespread clashes between security forces and demonstrators protesting against the killing of a top Hizbul Mujahideen leader.

According to Home Ministry sources, Rajnath Singh also urged Mehbooba Mufti to ensure the safety of Kashmiri Pandits.

“The Home Minister is keeping a close watch on the events. I am sure the situation will come back to normalcy very soon,” said Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I am sure the Amarnath Yatra will resume very soon, let security agencies take the final call,” Jitendra Singh added.

“I reassure members of Kashmiri Pandit community that they are safe. There were some incidents of stone pelting (earlier).”

Meanwhile, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu lashed out at sympathisers of dead Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.

“The Centre and the state together will tackle the situation. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir will be brought to normalcy at the earliest.

“(Wani) was a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, how can any Indian have sympathy for such people?

“Really surprised to see that some people are trying to support those so-called protesters who are sympathising with a terrorist,” said Naidu. “Terrorism and violence are not acceptable at all in any form.”

Violence erupted in the south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam and later spread to other districts in the valley after security forces killed Wani and two associates in Anantnag on Friday.

Wani was buried in his native Shariefabad (Tral) village on Saturday where thousands defied curfew restrictions to attend his funeral prayers.

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