A final push is needed to end terrorism in the valley, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday during his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since Article 370 was revoked in August 2019. Shah, who attended a high-level security meeting, said security agencies must coordinate more and iron out glitches, sources told CNN-News18. The valley has recently witnessed a spate in attacks on civilians.
The home minister is here on a three-day visit. He was earlier received at the technical airport in Srinagar by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and advisor Farooq Khan.
News18 had earlier reported that Shah in the security meeting discussed issues like terrorism, the growing threat of radicalisation, the killing of civilians, and an increase in cross-border infiltration in J&K.
Shah reviewed the security scenario at a meeting held at the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar and attended by top civil administration officials, including Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, and senior security officials from the Army, CRPF, police and other agencies, officials said.
The Home Minister posed a series of questions to security officials. He asked why civilian killings were taking place despite adequate force on the ground, why there was a rise in terrorism recruitment, and why anti-terror operations in Rajouri and Poonch were prolonged, sources said.
Shah asked all agencies to work in tandem to flush out terrorists from the valley as soon as possible, sources said, adding that he also asked J&K police to work to ensure radicalisation is controlled. The Home Minister said peace in the valley was needed, but that the killings of civilians were counter-productive.
In the meeting, Army commanders informed Shah about the steps being taken to control infiltration. A presentation by the Jammu and Kashmir police spoke about radicalisation, terror recruitment, and drones being used to drop weapons in J&K. The officers also informed the Home Minister on the steps being taken to bring justice to the civilians killed in the recent attacks.
Eleven civilians were killed in the valley in October alone. Five of those killed were labourers from Bihar, while three, including two teachers, belonged to minority communities in Kashmir.
Shah during his visit met the family of Jammu and Kashmir Police Inspector Parvaiz Ahmad who was shot dead by terrorists on June 22 near his home in Nowgam on the outskirts of the city while he was returning after offering evening prayers at a mosque. The Home Minister offered his condolences to the family and handed over documents of appointment to a government job to Ahmad’s widow, Fatima Akhtar, on compassionate grounds, a home ministry official said.
“Today visited the family of martyr Parvaiz Ahmad Dar and paid tributes to him. I and the nation are proud of his bravery. Jammu and Kashmir Police is making all efforts to realise the vision of PM Modi for a new JK,” Shah said in a tweet later.
Shah will also flag off the inaugural Srinagar-Sharjah flight and interact with members of a youth club here.
This is his first visit since Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 was revoked on August 5, 2019, and the state bifurcated into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Security was beefed up across Kashmir ahead of Shah’s visit that comes in the wake of the spate of civilian attacks. Additional forces have been deployed, particularly in the city, officials said. Fifty companies of additional paramilitary forces, about 5,000 troopers, are being inducted into the Valley as a precautionary measure.
Bunkers manned by CRPF forces have come up in several areas of the city as well as in other parts of Kashmir valley, officials told PTI. In 2019, too, when he last visited the Valley, Shah had met family of a slain police officer.Internet Explorer Channel Network