Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah should walk from Jammu to Lal Chowk in Srinagar if the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir was as good as the Centre claims, PTI reported.

“Targeted killings are happening here...bomb blasts are happening,” Gandhi said at a press conference. “If the situation had improved, the conversation I had with the security forces would not have happened...Why don’t BJP members start a yatra from Jammu to Lal Chowk? If the situation is so good then why doesn’t Mr Amit Shah walk from Jammu to Kashmir?”

His comments came as the Bharat Jodo Yatra, during which Gandhi covered 12 states on foot since starting the march on September 7, is scheduled to conclude on Monday. The Congress has invited all Opposition parties to attend the concluding ceremony in Srinagar. On Sunday evening, Gandhi had unfurled the national flag at the city’s Lal Chowk.

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The march was halted for a day on Friday in Anantnag district of Kashmir after the Congress alleged lapses in security arrangements. The police, however, denied the allegations.

Gandhi, who was in Qazigund, was supposed to walk 11 kilometres in the Valley on Friday but could barely cover a kilometre before his security team asked him to stop, saying that there were no police personnel to manage the large crowd that had gathered to receive him.

Over the last one year, several incidents of targeted killings have occurred in Jammu and Kashmir.

A group of Kashmiri Pandit employees recruited under the prime minister’s rehabilitation package in 2008 have been holding protests since May. They have been demanding that they be relocated to safer places outside the Valley. The protests began after Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, was shot dead in his office in the Chadoora area of Budgam district on May 12.

On December 14, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha that eight Kashmiri Pandits and a Kashmiri Rajput were killed by militants in the Union Territory in the past three years. Militants have also targeted labourers – mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – who had migrated to Jammu and Kashmir for work.

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