Farooq meets PM, Chidambaram on Kashmir situation

New Delhi, July 10 (Calcutta Tube) New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah Saturday separately met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P.Chidambaram and requested assistance so that his son and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah could tide over the volatile situation in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Officials at the Jammu and Kashmir House, the official state guest house here, told IANS that Abdullah assured the prime minister and the home minister that he would assist Omar in restoring normalcy in the Valley.

After the meetings, Abdullah left for Srinagar where he began consultations with Omar, state ministers and other political leaders.

Abdullah, a three-time chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and patron of the ruling National Conference, had been abroad for the past 10 days on official and personal work while the situation in Kashmir turned volatile, posing the gravest challenge to the 18-month National Conference-Congress government.

An aide of Farooq Abdullah told IANS that the minister, who had left to attend international conferences relating to his ministry in New York, had to delay his return to New Delhi as he stopped over at London to meet his ailing wife, Moley Abdullah.

Kashmir has been tense for two weeks after security forces shot dead nearly a dozen people in separate incidents during street protests. The violence had led to curfew and deployment of army in Srinagar and other towns since Wednesday. The curfew was, however, relaxed in Srinagar Friday evening to enable people observe a religious festival.

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