NEW DELHI: With the security agencies having strongly argued for no extension to the unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Sunday announced commencement of operations against militants, which marked the conclusion of the dovish approach announced for the month of Ramzan as goodwill gesture.
The brutal killing of the journalist Shujaat Bukhari spurred the Centre to drop any idea to extend the ceasefire for the upcoming Amarnath yatra commencing from June 26. "The government has decided not to extend the ceasefire announced at the beginning of Ramazan. On May 17, the government had taken the decision that the security forces will not take offensive operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramazan. This decision was taken in the interests of the peace loving people of the state.," Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.
Singh commended the security forces for following the decision of ceasefire in letter and spirit in the face of grave provocations. While the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs noted that killing of Bukhari and security personal Muhammed Aurangzeb on the eve of Eid vitiated the atmosphere, there had been a marked decline in terror activities through there were spikes in grenade attacks in the valley.
"The security forces had unequivocally argued that it would prove to be a daunting task to provide security to the pilgrims of the Amarnath Yatra in the event the ceasefire was to be extended beyond the month of Ramazan. The high level meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singh concurred with the assessment of the security agencies," said a senior official.
Incidentally, the high level meeting was also joined by the BJP chief Amit Shah and the party national general secretary Ram Madhav, who looks after the party's affairs in the state. The two leaders had also concurred with the assessments of the security agencies. It may be recalled that even while the all-party meeting called by the state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had sought unilateral ceasefire from the Centre during the month of Ramazan, the BJP leaders had opposed the idea, while stating that first the militants should shun violence.
The officials in the government noted that there had been no reciprocation from the separatists in the valley to the decision of the government to go ahead with the unilateral ceasefire. There appeared disappointments within the government that the militants carried out killings of civilians besides targeting the security personnel during the period of ceasefire.