Rajnath to visit J&K today, review suspension of operations

NEW DELHI, Jun 6: Home Minister Rajnath Singh would visit Jammu and Kashmir for two days starting tomorrow where he would review the ongoing suspension of anti-terror operations and tour a border district, officials said.
The home minister might also attend an Iftar to be hosted by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, an official said.
During his visit, he would review the prevailing situation in the state, particularly in border areas and the restive Valley, which witnessed several incidents of violence in the recent past.
There would also be a detailed review of the situation since May 16 when the Centre unilaterally announced suspension of anti-terror operations during the month of Ramzan, an official said.
The need for such an exercise was to understand the impact of the suspension of operations on the life of citizens and whether to extend it further, the official said.
Singh would hold meetings with Governor N N Vohra, the chief minister, top civil, police and paramilitary officials.
The home minister might also make an announcement on whether the operations would be suspended beyond Eid and during the Amaranth yatra beginning June 28, the official said.
The recent incidents of stone pelting, attacks on security forces in the Kashmir valley and infiltration attempts along the border would also figure in the meetings Singh would have with the security forces’ top brass, the official said.
The home minister’s visit comes amidst an offer for talks with the Hurriyat Conference. The separatist amalgam, however, had made it clear that it was ready for a dialogue only if there was clarity on the initiative, Jammu and Kashmir was declared “disputed”, and a few other conditions were met.
The home minister would also review the situation along the Indo-Pak border, where cross border firing led to death of at least 20 people and evacuation of several thousand people so far this year.
The ongoing development projects, announced as part of the Rs 80,000 crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would also be reviewed in the meeting, another official said.
A number of projects related to creating employment opportunities and sports infrastructure to attract youths might be unveiled during the visit.
This was the second high-level visit to the state after the announcement of suspension of operations by the Centre on May 16.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited all the three regions of the state – Ladakh, Srinagar and Jammu – late last month.
During his stay in Kashmir, the home minister would travel to the frontier district of Kupwara where he would review some projects being undertaken as part of the Border Area Development Programme.
On the second day of the tour, the home minister would visit Jammu and take stock of the situation along the International Border where at least 20 people, including a dozen security personnel, were killed in firing by Pakistani forces.
The central government had already decided to construct more than 28,400 bunkers in Jammu and Kashmir for the safety of residents living along the Indo-Pak border who often face shelling from the Pakistani side. (Agencies)