Security has been tightened ahead of Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah’s three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, which begins Monday night, officials said. Shah is scheduled to address two rallies – one in the Rajouri district of the Jammu region on Tuesday and another in Baramulla in northern Kashmir on Wednesday.
There have been two major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in the past week. Officials said Monday that a multi-layered security arrangement has been put in place for the interior minister’s visit, and drones are also being used for aerial surveillance.
Controls on the Jammu-Poonch and Srinagar-Baramulla highways have been intensified, while additional police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed to closely monitor the situation, they said.
“Police and CRPF personnel have been deployed to several places in Srinagar and elsewhere in the valley as part of the security measures,” an official said.
Patrolling has intensified in many places, especially on the Srinagar-Baramulla-Kupwara highway, the official added.
Drones with high-definition cameras keep a vigil in many locations and help security forces maintain surveillance,” the official said.
Police Director General Dilbag Singh, who visited both sites last week, said attempts are being made by terrorists and their escorts to disrupt the peace in Jammu and Kashmir, but all necessary security arrangements have been made for the high-profile visit and “. .. sabotaging the VIP visit or any such activity that sends a positive message to the people, trying to show the terrorists and their escorts across the border that all is not well (on the security front),” the police chief said here on Sunday said.
Terrorists had attacked a team of security forces in the Pulwama district of the Union territory on Sunday, killing a special police officer (SPO) and injuring a CRPF kawan. night of September 28 and 29, and injured two people.
A former terrorist was also arrested and five improvised explosive devices, including three adhesive bombs, were seized. However, the DGP said things are getting better day by day and they have tried to hit the terror ecosystem on several fronts, making the security scenario much better today than it was four years ago.
“There has been a drastic change in the overall security situation in J&K, as evidenced by facts and figures and not based on mere allegations…there has been a very large number of successful operations,” he had said.
Officials said additional director-general of police, Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh visited Rajouri this morning and discussed security arrangements at a high-level meeting ahead of the Home Secretary’s meeting.
Officials said security has also been stepped up in Jammu and the holy city of Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district.
Shah is scheduled to visit the shrine and say his prayers on the last day of the Navratra festival on Tuesday before leaving for Rajouri to address the gathering, officials said.
They said the interior minister is likely to meet with several delegations, including those from Gujjar and Bakerwal, in addition to some senior BJP leaders, shortly after his arrival here.
He will also dedicate the foundation stone and lay the foundation stone for development works in the Jammu region after his return from Rajouri.
The interior minister will leave for Kashmir on Tuesday evening and address the public meeting in Baramulla on Wednesday.
BJP’s JK president Ravinder Raina said Shah’s meetings will be “historic”. “These will be the biggest rallies in Rajouri-Poonch and Northern Kashmir history,” he said.
Asked if Shah will make any announcement about the JK assembly elections, Raina said determining the election schedule was the prerogative of India’s Election Commission, but the BJP was ready for elections.
“Elections will happen… It is the job of the ECI (to announce the election schedule). But the BJP is ready for the polls,” he said.
Shah will also inaugurate and lay the groundwork for several development works in Srinagar, in addition to presiding over a high-level security assessment meeting on Wednesday, along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
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