Home Minister Amit Shah reviews security situation, development programmes in J&K

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday reviewed the security situation and development issues in Jammu and Kashmir, where four heavily-armed militants who had come from Pakistan were killed early this morning, officials said.

In the pre-scheduled meeting, the home minister reviewed the prevailing security situation in the Union Territory and steps taken to deal with the Pakistan-backed militants and maintain peace.

The development programmes being carried out in the UT were also discussed threadbare at the meeting, an official said.

The meeting was attended by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, senior officials of the ministry, paramilitary forces, the Jammu and Kashmir administration and police.

There have been sporadic incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir in recent months that include attacks on innocent civilians and security personnel, and infiltration bids from across the border, officials said.

The four heavily-armed militants, who were killed in a “chance encounter” in Jammu early Wednesday, came from Pakistan, police said.

Early this month, there were reports that members of the Kashmiri Pandit community working in the Valley were in a state of panic after a terrorist group released a “hit list” of 56 employees from among them.

A blog linked to The Resistance Front (TRF), an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, published the list of 56 Kashmiri Pandit employees who were recruited under the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package (PMRP), and warned of mounting attacks on them.

In the aftermath of targeted killings by militants, several Kashmiri Pandits employed in the Valley under the PMRP have shifted to Jammu and are on a protest for over 200 days demanding relocation of the rest of them.

The government had informed Parliament that as many as 118 civilians, including five Kashmiri Pandits and 16 other Hindus and Sikhs, were killed in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 till July 2022.

The killings of Kashmiri Pandits had triggered protests by members of the community and they demanded enhanced security and the transfer of government employees to safer locations.

In May, four Hindu pilgrims were killed and at least 20 injured when their bus caught fire near Katra in Jammu. Police suspect a sticky bomb might have been used to trigger the fire.

Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated on August 5, 2019 and the state was divided into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

In a separate meeting, the home minister also reviewed the development initiatives being carried out in Ladakh.–(PTI)

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