Firm resolve to ensure peace in J&K, says Rajnath Singh

The Asian Age.  | Yusuf Jameel

India, All India

Singh had planned to visit Amarnath to pay obeisance at the cave-shrine but he could not do so due to bad weather.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)

Srinagar: Home minister Rajnath Singh, on the second day of his stay here held extended discussions with governor N.N. Vohra to review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the arrangements made for the ongoing Amarnath yatra, the issue of governance and implementation of various development programmes.

Before returning to New Delhi, Mr Singh said that the dream of a developed and prosperous J&K would be realised when there is peace and normalcy in the state. He also said, “It is our firm resolve to bring peace, stability and prosperity through an honest, effective and efficient administration for the problems facing the state.”

In a series of tweets, the home minister said that he reviewed the situation in the state and discussed the way forward at a meeting with the governor and other functionaries of the state administration. “Development and good governance had remained elusive for the common people of Jammu & Kashmir. We are committed to take all possible measures that will bring accountability, transparency and good governance in the system,” he said.

He added that with renewed focus on good governance and development the Centre is looking forward to kindle new aspirations and hopes amongst the people of the state.

“The solution to problems lies in empowerment of the people and strengthening the institutions of local self governance. The dream of a developed and prosperous Jammu & Kashmir will be realised when there is peace and normalcy in the state,” he wrote on Twitter.

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An official spokesman here said that the meeting in which various issues confronting the state, particularly the prevailing law and order situation and the security and logistics being provided for the Amarnath yatra were discussed threadbare, was attended also by national security advisor Ajit Doval, Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba, all the three advisors to governor B.B. Vyas, K. Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ganai, J&K’s chief secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid and other senior officials.

During the meeting, the home Minister was briefed by Mr. Kumar about the overall law and order situation and framework put in place by the security forces for the Amarnath yatra. The chief secretary presented an update of the implementation status of major projects under the Prime Minister’s development programme, particularly AIIMS, IITs & IIMs, Ring Roads at Jammu and Srinagar and other major development projects being executed by Central and State agencies, the spokesman said.

Governor Mr Vohra assured the home minister that the state administration “is taking every step required to ensure against any delay in the implementation of development and welfare programmes, eradication of corruption; and redressal of public grievances”.

Accompanied by the NSA chief Mr Doval and a team of officers from the home ministry including home secretary Mr Gauba and joint secretary J&K, Gyanesh Kumar, the home minister had soon after his arrival here from New Delhi on Wednesday evening began holding a series of meetings with senior government functionaries and the officers of various law enforcing agencies here to review the security situation in the restive State and along the Line of Control (LoC).

This was his first visit to the state after the imposition of the governor’s rule following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government on June 20.

Mr Singh had planned to visit Amarnath also to pay obeisance at the revered cave-shrine tucked away in the Kashmir Himalayas at an altitude of 3,888 metre above the sea level but he could not do it due to bad weather.

The yatra remained suspended for the second day on Thursday on both shorter Baltal and traditional Pahalgam routes as the tracks through rugged hills continued to be struck by landslides and shooting stones, mainly between Railpathri and Brarimarg, in the impact of heavy rains. However, limited helicopter services functioned on both the routes, a spokesman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said.

He added that on the 8th day of the yatra Thursday, 7,450 devotees paid obeisance and that with it as many as 68,202 pilgrims have had darshan of the Shivling at the cave-shrine, so far.

In view of the incidence of falling stones, landslides and accumulation of pilgrims at the base-camps of Baltal and Nunwan (Pahalgam) the CEO of the SASB announced that the convoy carrying the pilgrims from Jammu will not be allowed to proceed towards the base-camps on Friday. He asked the intending pilgrims to make their plans accordingly.

Also since large numbers of pilgrims have been held up at Baltal and  Nunwan and also at the halting places of Sheshnag and Panjtarni en-route Amarnath because of bad weather and falling stones, the governor who is also chairman of the SASB will be visiting these places on Friday to review the situation.