Shah’s maiden visit to Kashmir as HM on June 30

Will review security, visit Amarnath shrine

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, June 15: Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah will pay his maiden visit to Kashmir after assuming charge of the Home Ministry on June 30 during which he will review general security situation in the State as well as arrangements for Shri Amarnath ji pilgrimage, which will start on July 1.
Shah will also visit Shri Amarnath Ji cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva before returning to New Delhi.
“It will be a day’s visit and Shah will not touch Jammu and Ladakh regions in view of budget session of the Parliament, which is first session of Modi 2.0 Government. He will cover Jammu and Ladakh regions in his second visit after completion of the budget session,” BJP sources told the Excelsior.
Shah will reach Srinagar in the morning of June 30 where he will hold high-level review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with particular reference to the Valley and arrangements made for 46-day long annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji starting July 1 and lasting till August 15.
Governor Satya Pal Malik and top officials of security forces, civil administration and Jammu and Kashmir Police will give detailed briefing to the Home Minister on internal security situation and Yatra arrangements. Shah’s visit will come only a day ahead of the yatra, which starts July 1 and he will also visit the cave shrine and offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
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.
The Union Home Ministry will be deploying around 450 companies of para-military forces for security arrangements of Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrims. Apart from this, Army will man heights of the cave shrine and other vulnerable areas. Jammu and Kashmir Police and Armed Police were also being deployed in good strength for yatra arrangements.
While 300 additional para-military companies were already camping in Jammu and Kashmir, which had been deputed to the State for conduct of general elections, rest of the companies have started reaching here. Deployment of security personnel for the yatra duty will start in next couple of days to sensitize the routes and will be completed well ahead of the start of pilgrimage on June 30 from Jammu and July 1 from Baltal and Nunwan base camps in Kashmir.
According to BJP sources, though Amit Shah is also the BJP president, no party programme or function is schedule during his day-long visit to the Valley, which will be confined to review of security situation and Amarnath Ji yatra arrangements.
BJP State president Ravinder Raina had urged Shah to attend martyr day of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in Jammu on June 23 during his inter-action on the sidelines of the meeting of State presidents and general secretaries of the party on June 13 and 14 in New Delhi.
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.