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  India   All India  09 Jun 2018  J&K’s ceasefire extension after security review: Rajnath Singh

J&K’s ceasefire extension after security review: Rajnath Singh

THE ASIAN AGE. | YUSUF JAMEEL
Published : Jun 9, 2018, 5:22 am IST
Updated : Jun 9, 2018, 5:22 am IST

The PDP-BJP government is learnt to have strongly recommended the conditional ceasefire should be extended beyond Ramzan.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)
 Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo: PTI)

Srinagar: Union home minister Rajnath Singh, who was on a two-day visit of Jammu and Kashmir, said on Friday that a decision whether to extend the conditional Ramzan ceasefire in the state or not will be taken after reviewing and assessing the security situation.

He told reporters in frontier Kupwara, “The decision regarding the extension of Ramzan ceasefire will be taken after proper consultation with the public representatives and reviewing the security situation. We need to review the security situation and other related matters at the highest level. It will be done soon and thereafter decision in connection with the extension of ceasefire will be taken”.

The Centre had on May 16 announced suspending military operations against separatist militants in J&K “to help the peace-loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment”.

Mr Singh had at a press conference here on Thursday where referring to the surge in militants activities after the conditional ceasefire announcement said, “Shouldn’t we call napak (impure) those who don’t stop such activities even during the holy month of Ramzan?”

He had also said that however despite provocations the security forces including the Army and the J&K police have worked with utmost restraint. He said, “I would like to repeat, that no matter how many obstacles come in our way, we will not be deterred to bring lasting peace to Kashmir.”

A day before the home minister’s arrival, CM Mehbooba Mufti had tweeted, “Even as we see the ceasefire bringing great relief to the people of J&K, militants seem to be continuing their violent activities & desperately trying to sabotage the process. I only hope that they realise the futility of their actions soon.”

The chief minister’s allegation came in the backdrop of a series of attacks carried out by militants across the Kashmir valley during past three weeks. These include more than a dozen grenade and, at least, three IED blasts which left over twenty people including security personnel and civilians injured. Also, the Army shot dead eleven alleged infiltrators in three separatist clashes near the Line of Control (LoC) during this period but said such operations don’t call in the ambit of Ramzan ceasefire.

The PDP-BJP government is learnt to have strongly recommended the conditional ceasefire should be extended beyond Ramzan. Mr. Singh has had separate meetings with Governor N.N. Vohra, chief minister Ms. Mufti and Army’s Northern Command chief Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh to discuss the security situation in the hinterland as well as along the borders with Pakistan on the first leg of his visit on Thursday. He also held a review meeting on the overall security situation with senior officials of various security forces, intelligence agencies and civil administration.

Official sources said that he was given a power point presentation on “success” of the conditional truce apparently to seek its extension beyond Ramzan. During the briefing, he was told that though the militants have made several “desperate attempts” to sabotage the truce, only one major incident of violence has taken place during the past three weeks in which fatal injuries were reported.

There are indications of Ramzan truce being extended, at least, for a couple of months as it suits ruling combine politically besides may will work as a catalyst towards creating a conducive atmosphere for holding dialogue with separatists.

Accompanied by Union minister of state at the PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh, home secretary, Rajiv Gauba, and other senior officers of the MHA, Mr. Singh on Friday visited frontier Kupwara where he addressed the jawans of the J&K police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at the district police lines.

He said that five more battalions of IR will be raised and sixty percent vacancies will be reserved for the people of border areas. He told local delegations that all necessary steps will be taken by the government to ensure development of Kupwara.

Kupwara is listed among the 115 “inspirational” districts where the central government has pledged to lay “special emphasis” on the overall development “to fight poverty and backwardness”

A complete shutdown was observed in the main town of Kupwara and its neighbourhood during the home minister’s visit.

Earlier hours before Mr. Singh’s arrival in Kupwara, militants attacked an Army patrol with gunfire in the district. The officials said that after brief exchange of fire at Langaet, about 20-km from the district headquarters, the assailants escaped from the scene. No casualties were reported.

The home minister later flew to Jammu where he visited areas along the International Border (IB) with Pakistan which witnessed escalation in cross-border firing recently leaving several people dead.

Tags: rajnath singh, ramzan ceasefire, mehbooba mufti
Location: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar