Union home minister Amit Shah will reach Srinagar on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on October 23 amid heightened security following a spate of targeted civilian killings in the union territory in recent days.
Shah is expected to address panchayat members, political workers and chair a security review meeting. Eleven civilians, many of them from outside J&K, have been gunned down in Kashmir this month, forcing migrant workers leave the Valley.
This will be the home minister’s first visit to the UT since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 that scrapped J&K’s special status and paved the pave for the split of the erstwhile state into two union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Shah is likely to chair a meeting of the unified command in the Valley on October 23 after which he will travel to Jammu where he is expected to address a public rally the next day.
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The home minister is also to meet representatives of various industry bodies and flag off a direct Srinagar-Sharjah flight.
Security arrangements have been tightened across the Valley, with enhanced checks and frisking, especially in Srinagar, ahead of the visit.
Shah on October 18 took stock of the security issues in a meeting with the state police and chiefs of the central armed police forces.
Top counter-terror officials from the Intelligence Bureau as well as Research and Analysis Wing, DG of CRPF and senior National Investigation Agency are already in the Valley ahead of Shah’s visit, to News18 report said.
As many as 20 additional companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Srinagar alone, the report said.
Police said security forces have “neutralised” 17 terrorists in 10 gunbattles in the Valley in the latest phase of violence.
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Shah is also expected to review the implementation of development schemes. His last visit to Jammu and Kashmir was in June 2019.
Authorities have shut down the internet in some areas of Kashmir, while police seized a large number of two-wheelers ahead of Shah’s visit, according to a PTI report. Police, however, said the shutting down of the internet and seizing of vehicles had was part of routine anti-terror measures and had nothing to do with Shah’s visit.
— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) October 21, 2021
“Seizing some bikes and shutting down of internet of some towers is purely related to terror violence. It has nothing to do with visit of the Hon’ble HM,” IGP, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar tweeted.Internet Explorer Channel Network