On his maiden visit to Kashmir as Union Home Minister, Amit Shah on Wednesday chaired a high-level security meeting for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage and also reviewed progress of development projects in the state.
The focus of the Home Minister’s visit is the Amarnath yatra that starts on July 1. While reviewing security arrangements, Shah laid emphasis on securing the twin routes to the Himalayan cave shrine and preparations to deal with “any natural calamity”.
“The Hon’ble Minister directed all the security agencies to be fully alert and take all preventive steps to ensure a violence-free yatra,” Union Special Secretary (Internal Security) A P Maheshwari said. “(He said) there should be no laxity and strict enforcement of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) should be ensured. The senior officers should personally supervise the arrangement.”
The meetings, held at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre in Srinagar, were attended by J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Chief of Army’s Northern Command Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, and heads of central and state armed forces and intelligence agencies. J&K Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam and Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra were also present.
The Home Minister also reviewed the ongoing development projects, the Prime Minister’s Development Programme and the implementation of central schemes in the state. He asked state officers to ensure equitable development.
Earlier, Shah arrived on the two-day visit on Wednesday afternoon. He was received at the airport by Governor Satya Pal Malik. Shah is likely to visit the Amarnath cave on Saturday. He is also likely to visit the Srinagar residence of police officer Arshid Khan, who was recently killed in a militant attack in Anantnag.