Srinagar: Amid tight security arrangements, Union home minister Amit Shah begins his three-day J&K visit today. Besides holding security review meetings, the minister will also address panchayat members and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and a big rally in Jammu during his visit. Shah is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of two new medical colleges in the Union Territory, officials said.
Soon after his arrival in Srinagar, the Union home minister will chair a high-security review meeting at Rajbhawan in the afternoon. This meeting, besides Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, will be attended by top security, army and intelligence officials. The review of the security situation will be done amid a wave of targeted terrorist attacks that left 11 civilians dead in the region this month.
Shah will also hold an interaction with young members of J&K’s Youth Clubs at Raj Bhawan, Srinagar. In the evening, he will also inaugurate the Srinagar-Sharjah International flight.
The home minister will also address panchayat members and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, people familiar with the matter said.
This will be Shah’s first visit to the Union territory ever since the revocation of Article 370, which bestowed special status to the erstwhile state, in August 2019. He last visited J&K in June 2019 after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance swept to power at the Centre for a second term.
The Union minister, whose visit is part of the Centre’s continuing outreach campaign, is also expected to review the implementation of development schemes in the region. Last month, he held a review meeting on J&K with lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha and senior security officials in the national capital.
In view of Shah’s visit, security measures have been tightened across the Valley, especially in Srinagar city as forces stepped up checking and frisking activities, especially in Srinagar from the last many days.
The road leading towards Rajbhawan and its adjoining areas have been closed for traffic for the next three days due to the presence of top dignitaries there. Three-tier security is in place across the city. Additional mobile bunkers along with surveillance cameras have been deployed across the city especially at the sensitive spots and in the parts of the old city. Even at places, drone cameras have been deployed for the vigil on the sensitive spots.
After the spate of killings, the security forces stepped up operations across the Valley. J&K Police said 17 terrorists have been “neutralised” in various encounters in the Valley in the last 22 days amid a spate of attacks on civilians. Five migrant workers were among the 11 civilians killed in the region this month.