Srinagar: Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, on Wednesday evening held a series of meetings with senior government functionaries and the officers of various law enforcing agencies in Srinagar to review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LoC).
During these discussions special focus is being set on the security arrangements and other logistic support put in place for the annual Amarnath Yatra. Singh is himself planning to fly to Amarnath on Thursday morning to pay obeisance at the 3,888-metre-high revered cave-shrine and oversee the arrangements made for the pilgrims.
Singh is being accompanied by National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, and a team of officers from the Home Ministry including Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, and Joint Secretary Jammu and Kashmir, Gyanesh Kumar.
This is the Home Minister’s first visit of Jammu and Kashmir after the collapse of the PDP-BJP government and imposition of the Governor’s rule in the State a fortnight ago and comes amid speculations and rumours about the formation of a new government.
One such rumour purported that the BJP with its ally Sajad Gani Lone is trying to cause defections in the PDP in an attempt to garner the support of sufficient number of MLA to stake claim to government formation. The BJP has strongly denied it is in the race of forming a government in the State.
Earlier reports had suggested that the Congress and the PDP may cobble up an alliance in the run up to form a new government. Both the parties have ruled out such a possibility.
Before leaving for Srinagar, the Home Minister had tweeted “Heading to Srinagar on a two day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. During this visit the security situation of the state will be reviewed. Shall also perform darshan at the holy cave of Shri Amarnathji”.
The Raj Bhavan sources said that soon after his arrival in Srinagar, Singh held one-on-one meeting with Governor, NN Vohra, to discuss various important issues relating to “security management, implementation of development programmes and positive engagement of the youth in the state. The sources added that the Governor briefed Home Minister also about the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
The yatra remained suspended on Wednesday following twin tracks beyond the base-camps of Baltal and (Chandanwadi) Pahalgam were hit by a series of landslides and shooting of stones in the impact of torrential rains.
On Tuesday, five pilgrims were killed and a few others injured when swept by a landslide along the 13-km Baltal-Amarnath track between Brarimarg and Railpathri. The officials said that the twin tracks have turned slippery at most other places prompting them to suspend the yatra.
However, limited helicopter services for the pilgrims functioned from both routes and on the 7th day of the annual yatra, 5,919 devotees paid obeisance at Amarnath. So far, as many as 60,752 pilgrims have had the darshan of the shivling at the cave-shrine, a spokesman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said.