Home Minister reviews security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, calls high-level meeting on June 16

The Uncut


New Delhi. Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of several recent terror incidents, including the attack on a bus carrying pilgrims, sources said on Friday. Shah has also called a high-level security meeting on June 16, which will be attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, top officials of the Army and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), among others.

Sources said that the Home Minister also reviewed the preparations for the annual Amarnath Yatra in Sunday’s meeting which is starting from June 29. He said that the Home Minister was apprised of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the steps taken after the terrorist incidents there. Terrorists have attacked four places in Reasi, Kathua and Doda districts in the last four days, in which nine pilgrims, a CRPF jawan were killed, while seven security personnel and others were injured.

Two suspected Pakistani terrorists were also killed in an encounter with security forces in Kathua district and a large quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered from them. The terrorists on Sunday opened fire on a 53-seater bus carrying pilgrims when it was on its way from Shiv Khodi temple to Mata Vaishno Devi temple in Katra. The bus, carrying pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, fell into a deep gorge after the firing, killing nine people and injuring 41 others.

Militants opened fire on a joint check post of Rashtriya Rifles and police at Chatergalla in Bhaderwah on Tuesday, while on Wednesday they attacked a surveillance team in Gandoh area of ​​Doda district, injuring seven security personnel, including a policeman. Officials said that the search operation launched to trace and kill terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir after the attack on a bus carrying pilgrims on June 9 is continuing.

Security forces on Thursday launched a fresh search and cordon operation in Saida Sukhal village of Kathua after receiving information about the presence of two more terrorists, officials said. The operation was launched after more than 15 hours of operation in which two suspected Pakistani terrorists were killed and a CRPF jawan was also killed in the village.

A large quantity of arms and ammunition including an M4 rifle, an AK assault rifle, a satellite phone and more than Rs 2.10 lakh besides Pakistan-made food items, medicines and electronic equipment were recovered from the possession of the slain terrorists. One of these terrorists is said to be the top commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammed organization. On Wednesday, the police had released sketches of four terrorists involved in two attacks in Doda district and announced a reward of Rs 20 lakh for information leading to their arrest.

In Reasi district where terrorists attacked a bus carrying pilgrims on Sunday, police said 50 suspects have been detained so far as search operations were intensified in remote areas. Police had also issued an advisory urging residents of Jammu region to remain alert regarding the movement of suspicious persons and objects. The advisory was issued following intelligence inputs suggesting terror threat in parts of Rajouri and Jammu districts.

Meanwhile, police in Jammu and Kashmir have begun preparations for the two-month-long Amarnath Yatra. Additional Director General of Police Vijay Kumar last week directed security forces to strengthen existing security infrastructure, improve surveillance strategy and increase deployment of personnel along the Amarnath Yatra route. He also directed officials to minimize potential risks by deploying anti-sabotage teams along the Yatra routes to identify and neutralize any potential terror threat.

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