Shah extends visit to 2 days; will review security, yatra arrangements

HM to address Panchayat members, BJP cadre
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 24: Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his two-day visit to Kashmir on June 26 and 27, his first after assuming charge of the Home Ministry, will be holding high-level review of security scenario in J&K including the situation prevailing on borders and hinterland and arrangements for annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji beginning July 1.
Besides paying obeisance to Lord Shiva at the cave shrine, Shah will also address the Panchayat members and BJP leaders and workers during his two-day visit, which was earlier planned for a day on June 30 but has been advanced to June 26 and 27 in view of his scheduled in budget session of the Parliament.
Two-day visit of Shah will be confined to Kashmir valley only and he was expected to visit Jammu and Ladakh regions of the State at a later date, most likely after completion of the Parliament session.
Official sources told the Excelsior that during his two-day visit, Shah will attend meeting of top officials of all security agencies, Intelligence chiefs and civil administration on June 26 along with Governor Satya Pal Malik and will hold his first high-level review of security situation prevailing in the Valley as well as along the borders with Pakistan.
He will assess security and other arrangements for 46-day long Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage in South Kashmir Himalayas, which is starting on July 1 and will last 46 days to conclude on August 15 coinciding with Raksha Bandhan and Shravan Purnima.
Shah will also visit the holy cave shrine and pay obeisance to Ice Lingam of Lord Shiva. He will also review arrangements made for Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage at the cave shrine area with top officials.
The Union Home Ministry has deployed around 450 additional companies of para-military forces for security of the pilgrims. These companies are in addition to the Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police and Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police being deployed for the yatra security.
“The Central Government wants fool-proof security arrangements for Shri Amarnath Ji yatra,” sources said.
During his two-day tour, Shah will also address Panchayat members of Kashmir and the BJP workers during two separate functions.
“Amit Shah’s address to BJP workers will be quite significant as Assembly elections are due in Jammu and Kashmir,” sources said, adding that Shah, who also happens to be national president of the BJP, could give some guidelines to the BJP leaders and workers on the party’s roadmap ahead.
The Election Commission of India had recently announced that it will hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir later this year. It had also announced that it will announce the Assembly election schedule after conclusion of Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage on August 15.
This will be Shah’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after he took charge of the Home Ministry on June 1.
His visit to Jammu and Kashmir was being anticipated right from the day he took charge of the Home Ministry as he had reviewed security situation and other issues of Jammu and Kashmir for first four consecutive days in the Ministry.
Governor Satya Pal Malik had also met Shah on the very first day of his assumption of charge to brief him on Jammu and Kashmir situation.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who held charge of the Home Ministry in Modi 1.0 Government, had visited Kashmir and Siachen Glacier on June 3 i.e. the second day in office after taking charge of the new Ministry to review security situation, operations against militants and Shri Amarnath ji yatra arrangements.
BJP leaders said Shah would undertake another visit to Jammu and Kashmir after budget session during which he was likely to attend party function and review preparations for the Assembly elections in the State. He will also tour Jammu and Ladakh regions during his next visit.