Monday, May 27, 2024

Home Secy, Director IB, other top officials visit parts of Srinagar

High level meet to review security scenario today

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Strategy to be formulated for Shri Amarnath yatra

JAMMU, Apr 15: Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Director Intelligence Bureau (IB) Arvind Kumar and other senior officers of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs today reached Srinagar and visited different parts of the City to assess security situation while they will formally review preparedness for annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji and militancy related situation in the Valley at 11 am tomorrow with top civil, police, Intelligence and other officers of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bhalla, Kumar and other senior officers of the MHA and security agencies, on their arrival to Srinagar on a two-day visit, toured different parts of Srinagar City for on-spot assessment of the situation in the wake of attacks on civilians and security personnel ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu on April 24 and annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji in South Kashmir Himalayas which is scheduled to start on June 30 and last 43 days till August 11.

However, Bhalla will review security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir especially in the Valley at a high-level meeting in Srinagar at 11 am tomorrow.

The meeting will be attended by top officers of civil and police administration of Jammu and Kashmir, para-military forces, Intelligence agencies and all those associated with Shri
Amarnath Ji yatra.

“All aspects of security situation and arrangements for the annual pilgrimage will come up for review during the high level meeting. A strategy will be worked out to keep security scenario well under control in the Valley,” sources said.

The Home Secretary, Director Intelligence Bureau and other senior officers are expected to return to New Delhi tomorrow evening.

“In view of targeted killings by the militants of civilians, security personnel and attacks on non-locals, the Central as well as UT Governments are not going to take any chance and the Union Home Ministry has already decided to deploy 40,000 additional paramilitary personnel for security of the pilgrims,” sources said.

The yatra has gained all the more importance as it will resume after two years. The pilgrimage was suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID pandemic while it was cut short by about a fortnight in 2019 ahead of Central Government’s August 5 decision to abrogate special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

This year, the Centre as well as Jammu and Kashmir Governments are expecting around eight lakh pilgrims for Shri Amarnath Ji yatra and arrangements including those related with security and facilities are being made taking this figure into account.

“All these arrangements are part of tomorrow’s security review meeting,” sources pointed out.

This will be the first high level review of security arrangements of Shri Amarnath Ji yatra and more meetings could follow in Jammu and Kashmir as well as New Delhi in the coming days.

“The Government wants violence level to be brought down considerably in Kashmir ahead of the pilgrimage to ensure fool-proof security of the yatris who will reach the Valley from across the country for 43 days long yatra in South Kashmir Himalayas,” sources said.

Though security forces have killed and arrested large number of militants including top commanders and smashed various militant modules in the Valley this year, still the ultras too have been able to strike at the civilians, Panchayat members, security personnel who had come home on leave and non-locals.(By Daily Excelsior )

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