New Delhi: As the unrest in Kashmir entered the 43rd day, leaders of opposition parties from Jammu and Kashmir led by Omar Abdullah on Saturday knocked at the doors of President Pranab Mukherjee, requesting him to urge the Centre in finding a solution "politically".
With no signs of peace returning to the Valley, Omar, working president of National Conference and former chief minister, hit out at the Modi government for its "failure" to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature.
The opposition delegation while seeking the President's intervention also submitted a memorandum and apprised him of the "worsening" situation in the state.
Omar said the delegation also requested the President to use his "influence" on the state as well as the Centre "to stop the use of lethal force against civilians in the Valley".
"The failure of the central government to acknowledge that the issue in Kashmir is largely of a political nature has worsened the already volatile situation," Omar told reporters after an hour-long meeting with the President.
"We have requested the President to impress upon the central government to initiate a credible and meaningful process of political dialogue without any further delay involving all stakeholders to address the political issue in the state," the NC leader said.
The 46-year-old former Chief Minister, who had held a meeting of all opposition parties in Srinagar earlier this week, said the situation cannot be handled administratively or by creating a humanitarian crisis.
"You see, we are having curfew for last 43 days. Now sale of petrol has been stopped which means it will also affect movement of ambulances. With stringent curfew measures being enforced, more and more people are being driven out onto the streets and the problem is getting worse," Omar said, adding having further restrictions placed on them only increases their misery.
The delegation, which also comprised CPI-M MLA M Y Tarigami, Congress MLAs led by its PCC Chief G A Mir and independent MLA Hakeem Yaseen, has also sought time from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the situation.
It would also be meeting leaders of other political parties including Vice President of Congress Rahul Gandhi and CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Omar said the continued refusal of the Centre to deal with the situation through a political approach "is disappointing and can have serious long term implications on peace and stability in the state".
"I wonder when would they wake up as the situation is grave," he said, alleging that the state and central governments were trying to "crush the agitation by using administrative measures".
Blaming Mehbooba Mufti-headed PDP-BJP government for having failed on all fronts to normalise the situation, Omar said the Chief Minister was directly responsible for the deteriorating situation.
The former Chief Minister, who was also accompanied by senior leaders of NC including provincial Presidents of his party Nasir Wani and Davinder Rana, Ali Mohammed Sagar and A R Rather, said, "The fire that has been raging in Kashmir Valley has already started spreading across Peer Panjal and Chenab Valley in Jammu region and Kargil area."