SRINAGAR: On his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370’s revocation, union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday talked tough while reviewing the security situation after the recent targeted killings and asked security agencies to devise a strategy to end militant recruitment and militancy and prevent civilian killings.
Shah, who is on a three-day visit, sought inputs from security officials on measures taken to prevent radicalization of youth and local militant recruitment. “The security agencies must devise a strategy to end militant recruitment and militancy in J&K,” he told the officials.
According to sources, Shah was upset over the recent civilian killings, including the targeted killings of five migrant workers and three minority community members. He asked security officials to ensure the safety of civilians.
Sources said J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, senior army commanders, J&K police chief, director general of the CRPF and BSF, and top officials of intelligence agencies apprised the home minister about the prevailing security situation.
“They also briefed him about anti-militancy operations and counter infiltration measures taken to check infiltration of armed militants from across the border,” they said. Later, addressing youth clubs in Srinagar, Shah asserted that those who wanted to derail J&K’s peace would be dealt sternly. “Nobody will be allowed to obstruct J&K’s path of development.”
He said terrorism had reduced and stone throwing had ended post the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A and the bifurcation of J&K into two union territories on August 5, 2019. “From 2004-2014, about 2,081 civilians were killed. Every year 208 civilians were killed. After 2014, 30 civilians were killed per year,” he said. The home minister said 40,000 people, including militants, security men and civilians, had died in J&K after the eruption of militancy in 1989.
Spelling out the centre’s roadmap on J&K, Shah said after the completion of delimitation, elections would be held and then statehood would be restored. “I have stated this in parliament. This is the roadmap. I have come to make friends with the youth of Kashmir.”
Shah justified the security clampdown after the abrogation of Article 370 saying “it saved previous lives. Conspiracies were being hatched, including by some foreign agencies, to rouse the emotions of the people on the issue but we saved the lives of the youth of Kashmir by imposing curfew and closing the internet,”
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