Army to turn heat on J&K terrorists

| | New Delhi
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Army to turn heat on J&K terrorists

Monday, 17 June 2024 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday here reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of several terror incidents in the region recently and also took stock of the preparations for the annual Amarnath Yatra scheduled to commence from June 29 and will continue till August 19.

The Home Minister was given a comprehensive briefing on the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir where security forces are expected to intensify counter-terror operations in the coming days, it was learnt. The operations against the terrorists will be carried out in line with the Prime Minister’s directive, sources said. Shah presided over the high-level meeting here at North Block, three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a similar meeting where he directed officials to deploy the “full spectrum of counter-terror capabilities” after a spate of terror incidents, including an attack on a bus carrying pilgrims.

Earlier at a meeting on Friday last, Shah was briefed about the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the deployment of forces along the International Border and Line of Control (LOC), infiltration attempts, the status of ongoing anti-terror operations.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, Army Chief General Manoj Pande, Army Chief-designate Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director of Intelligence Bureau Tapan Deka, Director General of CRPF Anish Dayal Singh, DG of BSF Nitin Agarwal, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police R R Swain and other top security officials attended the meeting.

Terrorists struck at four places in Reasi, Kathua and Doda districts of Jammu and Kashmir within four days last week, killing nine pilgrims and a CRPF jawan and leaving seven security personnel and several others injured.  Two suspected Pakistani terrorists were also killed in an encounter with security forces in Kathua district.

On June 9, terrorists opened fire on a 53-seater bus carrying pilgrims when it was en route to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra from the Shiv Khori temple.

The bus, ferrying pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, plunged into a deep gorge following the gunfire, killing nine people and injuring 41 others.

On June 11, terrorists fired at a joint check post of the Rashtriya Rifles and police at Chattergalla in Bhaderwah while a search party in the Gandoh area of Doda district was attacked on June 12, resulting in injuries to seven security personnel, including a policeman.

On June 13, Modi spoke to the Home Minister and discussed the deployment of security forces and counter-terror operations.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor as well and took stock of the situation in the Union Territory.  Sinha briefed him on the efforts being undertaken by the local administration.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister was given a full overview of the security-related situation in the region and was apprised of the counter-terror efforts being undertaken.

The attacks took place ahead of the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Amarnath, located at a height of 3,880 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas, which will begin on June 29 and will continue till August 19. The Amarnath pilgrims travel through two routes -- Baltal and Pahalgam -- in Jammu and Kashmir. Last year, over 4.28 lakh people visited the shrine and the figure could go up to five lakh this time.

All pilgrims are expected to be given RFID cards so that their real-time location can be traced and everyone will be given Rs 5 lakh insurance cover.  There will also be an insurance cover of Rs 50,000 for each animal carrying the pilgrims.

Shah has been stressing on providing smooth arrangements on the route from the airport and railway station to the pilgrimage base camp and proper security of all pilgrims, sources said.

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