The Kashmir Valley has been under curfew for 31 consecutive days as the Indian government comes under intense pressure to ease the crisis. With the death toll in the recent unrest reaching 60, opposition parties are tightening the screws on the Narendra Modi administration to find a solution quickly.
Tensions in the restive Kashmir region escalated in July after Indian security forces shot dead 22-year-old Burhan Wani, a prominent separatist figure and a senior commander of Hizbul Mujahideen group. Ever since, there have been continuing protests and a government clampdown in the border state.
Exhorting Prime Minister Modi, who has not said much on the entire month-long affair so far, to speak on the matter, top opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed surprise over the government's silence on the crisis, which is the worst in recent years.
Azad, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha (upper house), told Parliament: "We want to awaken this government...we feel that the government and the Prime Minister are like silent spectators as the situation keeps deteriorating. India's crown is in flames and the government in Delhi seems unmoved," adding that no area has been kept under a curfew for this long a period in Independent India.
He went on: "The situation there is very tense and it is regrettable that the government is watching from the sidelines...not a word from the Prime Minister...people in Kashmir are wondering why the Prime Minister is silent on the situation in Kashmir." Other prominent opposition leaders have also urged the federal administration to initiate a political process in order to ease the situation.
Responding to a barrage of criticism, Modi's minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government will take up discussions on the matter in the coming days.
Jammu and Kashmir's Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is also expected to travel to capital New Delhi later on 8 August in order to hold talks with Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the matter. More than 8,000 people, including security forces, have been injured in the month-long violence in Kashmir.