Home Minister to visit Kashmir next week

Home Minister to visit Kashmir next week

Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Jun 7: With Kashmir topping the list of his ministry, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to arrive in Kashmir next week to take stock of the situation prevailing on various security related fronts and to get feedback from the security agencies on the preparations put in place for the smooth conduct of Amarnath Yatra commencing from July 1.
Soon after he was sworn in as the country’s Home Minister, Shah stirred hornet’s nest by hinting at his ministry’s proposal of going for delimitation of Assembly seats that stands banned till 2022. He chaired a series of meetings on Kashmir in Delhi to get the fresh feedback of the situation prevailing on ground zero.
Reliable sources said that Shah has decided to visit Kashmir next week between 10 to 15 June to assess the situation himself. “He is likely to chair the meeting of unified headquarters in Srinagar where Governor S P Malik and heads of all the security agencies are expected to participate. Shah has also sought the power point presentation of the security plan framed for the smooth conduct of annual pilgrimage of Amarnath commencing from July 1,” the sources said.
Shah’s visit is also significant as with 48 hours of assuming the office of the home minister, he took multiple steps related to Jammu and Kashmir.
Also, CRPF DG gave him a presentation regarding Amarnath Yatra, which was majorly handled by the CRPF. The government is gearing up for Amarnath Yatra — a 46-days-long pilgrimage that commences on July 1.
It is also expected that Shah’s trip would be of two days where he will meet security forces personnel.
Shah has, no doubt, emerged as the deputy of Modi in the government and the second most powerful minister.
An official in the Union Home Ministry said that Shah will apprise the security top brass in Kashmir about his fresh policy vis-à-vis Kashmir and pass certain direction for ensuring peace in the region. “The Home Minister will also seek information from the security heads about the status of militancy and infiltration in Kashmir and the measures taken to deal with it so far,” the official said.
Pertinently, soon after Shah took over, the MHA issued a fresh list of top 10 wanted militants with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Reyaz Naikoo topping the list. Sources said that Shah may seek opinion from the political parties about his plans of going for the delimitation of Assembly seats. Bhartiya Janata Party leadership in New Delhi have been crying hoarse that Jammu region was facing discrimination as far as Assembly seats were concerned. “Jammu region has 29 lakh voters and Kashmir 31 while as Valley has more seats than Jammu. Isn’t it a big discrimination,” a BJP leader asked. (KNS)