Home Secy calls for zero infiltration, beefing up security along borders

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 9: Union Home Secretary LC Goyal today directed for strengthening security arrangements all along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) apart from internal areas of Jammu during high level review of the situation with top officers here in the afternoon and prior to that at Octroi border post in Suchetgarh sector along the IB in the morning.
On his first three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir after taking over as the Union Home Secretary, Goyal accompanied by Rajat Punhani, Joint Secretary MHA (Incharge Jammu and Kashmir Affairs) and HK Makwaha, Joint Secretary, Incharge Border Management reached Octroi border post on the IB in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura tehsil at 11 am.
Accompanied by top police and BSF officers including DGP K Rajendra and IG BSF Rakesh Sharma, Goyal visited the border areas for on spot assessment of the situation and later reviewed counter-infiltration measures, steps to check ceasefire violations by Pakistan and protect civilians at high level meeting at Octroi Post for more than two hours. Top BSF officers briefed the Union Home Secretary on the situation on the border including ceasefire violations by the Rangers, infiltration attempts by the militants and steps taken to prevent Kathua, Samba and Arnia like fidayeen attacks in future.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Union Home Secretary directed the BSF to ensure that the militants didn’t manage to infiltrate into the Indian territory to carry out fidayeen attacks just like they did last month on March 20 and 21 at Rajbagh police station in Kathua district and Army camp in Samba district killing three security personnel and two civilians. All four fidayeens were killed. In September, three militants had struck at Arnia killing three Army personnel and five civilians before being eliminated.
The Home Secretary is reported to have reviewed in detail the Central Government’s proposal to construct embankments along the IB from Lakhanpur to Akhnoor to plug infiltration routes. He was also understood to have discussed in detail with civil administration the proposals to allot 5 marlas land to border people in safer zones and construction of bunkers for them.
Sources said the Union Home Ministry was deeply concerned over plight of the border people during firing and shelling by the Pakistani Rangers and wanted allotment of 5 marla plots and construction of concrete community bunkers for their safety.
Various aspects of the situation on the International Border came up for high level review during the meeting.
Later, the Union Home Secretary chaired high level security review meeting at the Guest House with Army Commanders, heads of para-military forces, Intelligence agencies, police and civil administration and reviewed overall security situation with them on the LoC, IB and hinterland.
Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, DGP K Rajendra, GOC 16 Corps Lt Gen KH Singh, GOC 9 Corps Lt Gen Rajeev Tiwari and GOC Tiger Division Maj Gen Dushyant Singh, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Pawan Kotwal, IGP Jammu Danish Rana, IG BSF Rakesh Sharma and heads of all para-military forces, Intelligence and other security agencies attended the meeting and gave detailed briefing and perception of their situation to the MHA delegation.
The Union Home Secretary directed for further strengthening Counter-Insurgency Grid in the State and plugging all infiltration routes on the LoC and IB to leave no scope for intrusion by the militants as snow will start melting in next one month.
According to sources, various security related matters figured in the meeting. He called for greater coordination among all security agencies engaged in anti-militancy and counter-insurgency operation to keep the militancy well under control in the summer.
Security arrangements for holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji were also reviewed in the meeting, sources said.
Later, the Union Home Secretary had one-to-one meeting with Governor NN Vohra at Raj Bhawan and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed at his official residence. Both the meetings lasted over half an hour each.
The Chief Minister is understood to have discussed flood relief package with the Home Secretary apart from security situation and other aspects.
Goyal along with the MHA delegation will hold another high level security review of situation in the Kashmir valley tomorrow in Srinagar in which GOC 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha and GOC 14 Corps (Leh) Lt Gen BS Negi apart from all Kashmir based heads of para-military forces, police, Intelligence agencies and civil administration will be present.
Arrangements for peaceful summer to ensure smooth flow of tourists and Amarnath Yatra will also figure in the meeting apart from militancy related situation, sources said.
In addition to security review, the MHA delegation will hold separate meeting on relief and rehabilitation arrangements for September 2014 and March 2015 flood victims in Srinagar tomorrow afternoon.
Tomorrow morning, the MHA teams led by the Home Secretary will fly to cross-LoC point of Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch followed by Salamabad in Baramulla to review arrangements and measures required for easing cross-LoC travel and trade restrictions on Poonch-Rawlakote and Uri-Muzaffarabad routes.
“There have been demands from the traders dealing with cross-LoC trade and people intending for travel to meet their divided families on either side of the LoC to ease restrictions. Further, the MHA was also concerned about smuggling of narcotics and other undesirable elements in the garb of trade. The MHA will discuss steps required to curb such practices,’’ sources said, adding the Centre wants to boost trade and travel on the two cross-LoC routes but without compromising the security situation.
The MHA delegation had night halt in Jammu today and Srinagar on April 10 before flying back to New Delhi on April 11.
Only a day before, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed them with various aspects of Jammu and Kashmir situation including Rs 44,000 crores worth flood relief package submitted to the MHA by previous NC-Congress Government after September floods. The MHA is yet to take a decision on the package.
According to an official handout the Union Home Secretary during an extensive meeting, discussed with the Governor about the obtaining security scenario, particularly in the aftermath of the recent terror attacks, existing and emerging issues relating to internal security management and various other matters relating to securing sustained peace and normalcy in the State.
He also shared security related perceptions and assessments with the Governor. The Governor urged the Union Home Secretary to secure special emphasis on efforts for strengthening border management.
Goyal also apprised the Governor about his schedule of visits to LoC for reviewing cross LoC trade on Poonch-Rawalakot and Uri- Muzaffarabad trade routes. The Governor and Goyal also discussed matters relating to Shri Amarnathji Yatra-2015.
Joint Secretaries of Ministry of Home Affairs, Rajit Punhani (Incharge Jammu and Kashmir Affairs) and H.K Makwana (Incharge Border Management) were with the Home Secretary during the discussions. P.K. Tripathi, Principal Secretary to the Governor, participated in the meeting.
Another handout said Goyal, called on Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, here this afternoon.
During the meeting, matters relating to the security and law-and-order scenario in the State were discussed.
Meanwhile, With the Centre and PDP expressing different views over the resettlement of displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, BJP today advocated “patience” in addressing the issue.
“Patience. Centre and J&K both propose townships for Pandits. Composite or exclusive is the issue. As per CMP the community should be consulted,” BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said.
Madhav said the common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the PDP-BJP alliance Government in Jammu and Kashmir has stated that the process of resettlement of displaced Kashmiri Pandits would begin by “taking the community into confidence”
“Protecting and fostering ethnic and religious diversity by ensuring the return of Kashmiri Pandits with dignity based on their rights as state subjects and reintegrating as well as absorbing them in the Kashmiri milieu. Reintegration will be a process that will start within the State as well as the civil society, by taking the community into confidence,” according to the CMP.


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