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On Navami, Shah starts the day with ‘Darshan’ at Vaishno Devi Shrine; Can announce ST status for Paharis

officials said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has pledged Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Paharis, a long-awaited demand from the community mainly living in Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu region and Baramulla in northern Kashmir, where Shah went to. expected to address the public. rallies in the next two days. Gujjars and Bakerwals have expressed resentment over the proposed inclusion of Paharis in the ST category.

Ahead of the public meeting of Home Secretary Amit Shah on Tuesday in Rajouri, multi-layered security arrangements have been put in place, officials said Monday. Security forces carried out depositions and searches in multiple locations here Monday, they said.

Joint teams of army, police and paramilitary forces launched a cordon and search operation (CASO) in the forest of Chechra, Seeran and Dassal Jattan and conducted a thorough screening of the area for suspicious movements, officials said.

They said the CASO is part of tightened security arrangements put in place in the border area ahead of the high-profile visit. In recent days, several CASOs have been conducted in the district which also has continuous area domination patrols, officials said, adding that a similar search was conducted around the location of the interior minister’s meeting and decontaminated the entire area.

Shah will address a public meeting in the city of Rajouri on Tuesday. All intelligence agencies maintain the highest level of vigilance and police and paramilitary forces are taking utmost care of security arrangements in their jurisdictions, a security official said.

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