Rajnath to discuss suspension of ops, cross border firing during J-K tour
New Delhi, Jun 4: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will begin his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 7 during which he will review the suspension of operations in Ramzan and also meet those affected by cross-border shelling, officials here said. This is the second high-level visit to the state after the announcement of unilateral ceasefire by the Centre from May 16.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited all the three regions of the state -- Ladakh, Srinagar and Jammu. During his stay in Kashmir, the home minister will travel to the frontier district of Kupwara where he will review some projects being undertaken as part of the Border Area Development Programme, officials said.
Later, he will review the suspension of anti-militancy operations during the holy month of Ramzan with top police, paramilitary and central security agency officials, they said. The need for such an exercise was to understand the impact of the suspension of operations on the life of citizens, the officials said.
Singh is also expected to discuss with the state government and security officials the possibility of extending the suspension of operations beyond Eid and during the period of the Amarnath Yatra, which will begin on June 28. The recent incidents of stone pelting, attacks on security forces in the Kashmir Valley and infiltration attempts along the border will also figure in the meetings Singh will have with the top brass of the security forces, an official said.
The home minister's visit comes amidst an offer for talks with the Hurriyat Conference. The separatist amalgam, however, has made it clear that it was ready for a dialogue only if there was clarity on the initiative and Jammu and Kashmir is declared "disputed", and a few other conditions are met.
On the second day of the tour, the home minister will visit Jammu and will take stock of the situation along the international border where over a dozen security personnel have been killed in firing by Pakistani forces. Several thousand people living along the border were also evacuated and taken to safer places due to the continuous firing from across the border, another official said. The central government has 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.