MHA to review situation in J&K after attacks on Panchayat members, others

High-level meeting to be held in New Delhi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 13: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is likely to review security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in view of recent attacks on civilians including the Panchayat members and security personnel who had come home on leave in the Valley, in a meeting in the Union capital shortly.
Either Union Home Minister Amit Shah or Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla will chair the meeting to review security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.
Shah will visit Jammu on March 19 to attend CRPF Raising Day Celebrations at MA Stadium. However, during his visit, no other programme including the security review meeting or party function is scheduled so far. The review meeting is expected to be held in the Union capital before Shah travels to Jammu.
The review meeting will be attended by top officials of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), Intelligence agencies and others on killing of Panchayat members and security personnel on leave and steps required to prevent such killings in future.
Pilgrimage to holy Amarnath Ji shrine is also scheduled between June and August in South Kashmir Himalayas and the Central Government doesn’t want any kind of increase in level of violence in the Valley for peaceful yatra.
A number of militants including top commanders of various outfits have been killed in the Kashmir valley this year so far. However, the MHA will devise a strategy to stop the civilian killings.
Officials were of the view that situation is well under control in Jammu and Kashmir including the Valley but the militants at the behest of Pakistan want to keep the pot boiling by indulging in civilian killings by striking at the soft targets.
A CRPF jawan Mukthar Ahmad, who was at home on leave, was killed by militants in Shopian district yesterday, which was the fourth such attack on security personnel in the last three days.
Ahmad succumbed to his injuries on the way to a hospital.
An Army jawan on leave was also killed under mysterious circumstances in the Valley few days back.
Shabir Ahmad Mir, a Sarpanch, was shot dead by the militants in Kulgam on Friday, while the Sarpanch of Khanmoh Bashir Ahmad Bhat was killed two days prior on the outskirts of Srinagar.
On March 7, two civilians were killed and at least 35 others , including a police official, were injured in a grenade attack at Amira Kadal, a busy Sunday street market in Srinagar.
Security has been heightened across the Union Territory, particularly in the Kashmir valley, while drones are also being used to monitor forest areas.
The sources said that the militants have been hiding in the forests after conducting the attacks.
Intelligence agencies have identified “some locations” near Srinagar and Baramulla districts and a coordinated operations against the militants have already been planned with the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG).
According to the messages intercepted by the intelligence agencies, Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) is “annoyed” with the militants in Jammu and Kashmir for not doing “something big” and forcing them to execute a major terror attack on the security forces.
Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir Police recovered a cache of weapons possibly dropped from a drone along the International Border in RS Pura sector. A massive search operation was carried out by Jammu and Kashmir Police and the SOG for recoveries.
The cache of weapons comprised two magazines, 70 cartridges, one pistol, three detonators, three remote-controlled IEDs, three bottles of explosives, a bundle of cortex wire, two timer IEDs and six grenades.