Rajnath to begin two-day J&K visit from Wednesday

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New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday will begin a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir during which he is slated to hold a high-level meeting in Srinagar and pay obeisance at the holy cave shrine of Amarnath.

Informed sources said the Minister will leave for Srinagar on Wednesday evening and return to Delhi on Friday afternoon.

Rajnath Singh’s agenda, said ministry officials, was yet to be disclosed but it was confirmed that he would start his day on Thursday by visiting Amarnath cave, to which a 60-day annual pilgrimage commenced on June 28 and will continue till August 26.

The minister later in the day will chair a high-level security review meeting where top army brass, officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government and police, central paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies will be present, said a source, adding he will also hold political discussions with Governor N.N. Vohra.

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Rajnath Singh will be accompanied by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other ministry officials dealing with Jammu and Kashmir related matters. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is also expected to accompany him.

The meeting is expected to review the impending threats from terrorist outfits active in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly to the Amarnath Yatra, and measures taken to neutralise them.

Safe and uneventful conduct of the Amarnath pilgrimage is among the top priorities of the security establishment and the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government are leaving no stone unturned to ensure this.

The meeting shall discuss measures to minimise attempts by locals to disrupt anti-terror operations by indulging in stone-pelting and protests during operations against militants in the Kashmir Valley.

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The security brass will also review steps for a heightened vigil at the Line of Control and International Border to curb infiltration of foreign terrorists linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, including those looking to target the Amarnath Yatra.

Over two lakh pilgrims from across the country have registered for the Yatra. Security measures have been taken keeping in mind the ceasefire violations on the border and other terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

It would be Rajnath Singh’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to end its alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party led to the fall of the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government and imposition of Governor’s rule in the state.



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