Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday ahead of the commencement of the Amarnath Yatra. On day 1 of his visit, Shah chaired a review meeting on security arrangements for upcoming Amarnath Yatra at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC). Later in the day, he would to reach the holy shrine and pay obeisance.
Shah’s visit comes at a time when the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir Satyapal Malik had said that the Hurriyat Conference is ready to hold talks with the Centre. The Hurriyat Conference had called for a boycott of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and has evaded holding dialogue with the Centre. Shiv Sena Dogra Front has asked the Home Minister to not accept any invitation of talks with the Hurriyat leaders. The timing of their proposal is also crucial as it coincides with that of the Amarnath Yatra, which is scheduled to begin on July 1. During his visit, Shah is also scheduled to review the security arrangements for the Yatra to ensure there is no threat to the pilgrims.
Jammu and Kashmir: Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Srinagar. The Home Minister is on a 2-day visit to the state where he will review overall security situation & also discuss security arrangements for Amarnath Yatra. pic.twitter.com/fM6nJKYLBE
— ANI (@ANI) June 26, 2019
This is Shah’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir as the Home Minister after the NDA government came to power winning Lok Sabha election 2019 with a majority. In its manifesto, the BJP had promised the elimination of Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution. However, according to media reports, Shah is unlikely to take up this issue on his maiden visit to the insurgency-hit state.
The newly-appointed Home Minister will review the security situation in the state and the progress of development projects undertaken by the Centre. He will also chair a meeting of the Unified Command, which comprises officers of the Indian Army, BSF, CRPF and the state police, to review steps taken for a peaceful and terror-free Amarnath Yatra, and discuss ongoing and future counterterror operations.
According to SATP data, around 120 terrorists have been eliminated in J&K so far this year. The central agencies such as NIA and ED have also launched a massive crackdown on separatists probing their alleged links with multiple cases related to terror funding and money laundering.
A total of 63 security personnel have lost their lives, including 40 in the February 14 Pulwama attack this year in terror operations, according to state police data. Shah is likely to visit the home of martyred inspector Arshad Khan on the second day of his visit. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in the state in view of Shah’s visit.