In an indication of the manner in which the crisis is being handled in the Valley, it was Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who went to Raj Bhawan Sunday evening and along with Governor N N Vohra held a 90-minute “highest level” security review following the attack on the Army camp in the early hours of the morning.
In the past, the CM including Mehbooba Mufti — who called the latest attack an attempt to create a warlike situation in the region — have been chairing meetings of the Unified Command in Srinagar but these have never been attended by the governor.
It is the first time that the chief minister and the governor have co-chaired such a meeting where, officials who attended it said, strengthening of the counter-terrorism and counter-infiltration grid as well as putting a restraint on the protesting youth, especially in South Kashmir, were the two main points of discussion.
Besides the state police heads including DGP K Rajendra Kumar and the top brass of the BSF and CRPF, chief secretary Brij Raj Sharma and financial commissioner Bharat Vyas were present at the meeting.
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Said a senior intelligence official who was present at Raj Bhawan on a day when both Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army chief Dalbir Singh rushed to Uri: “For days we have been anticipating a terror strike specially since the number of protesters on the streets have come down sharply. We knew something would happen. One feeling is that Pakistan may have shot itself in the foot with the Uri strike coming almost one week before the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) begins in New York.”
Condemning the attack, Mehbooba said, “The heightened tension in the wake of the Uri attack is set to further vitiate the atmosphere in and around Jammu and Kashmir amid increasing Indo-Pak hostility. The attack seems to be aimed at triggering fresh violence and creating a war-like situation in the region,” said Mehbooba, who expressed condolences to the families of the soldiers killed and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
“The perpetrators of violence must understand that violent methods have yielded nothing in the past nor will these yield anything in future except adding to the miseries of the people,” Mehbooba said. “Unfortunately, people in Jammu and Kashmir, who are already mired in an agonising situation, shall have to bear the maximum brunt of the fresh attempts being made to step up violence and trigger fresh bloodshed in the state. J&K has always been the worst victim of Indo-Pak hostility and its people have been paying a colossal price for the same for the past over six decades”.
Vohra sought “enhanced surveillance” of key civil and military establishments. Governor Vohra, the Raj Bhawan spokesman said, called for a “multi-agency security audit” of all security forces and concerned agencies to “to identify and fill every existing gap for ensuring an effective and prompt counter-terror response”.
“The governor and the chief minister stressed the need for cohesive action for enforcing a constant vigil on the frontiers, stepping up counter-terrorism operations and effectively maintaining internal security,” the spokesman said. The chief minister and the governor urged the security agencies to work in tandem to “restore public order” in the Valley.
Major terror attacks in J&K
May 14, 2002
31 killed and 48 injured when three militants hijack a tourist bus and storm the Army cantonment at Kaluchak in Jammu
July 22, 2003
8 Army personnel including a Brigadier killed as fidayeen storm Akhnoor camp in Jammu
July 19, 2008
10 soldiers killed and 20 injured in attack on convoy at Narbal on Srinagar-Baramulla highway
June 24, 2013
10 soldiers killed and 12 injured when two terrorists attack convoy in Srinagar
September 25, 2013
9 security personnel, including four policemen and three army jawans, killed in twin terrorist attacks in Jammu’s Samba and Kathua
December 5, 2014
8 soldiers and 3 policemen killed when six militants storm Army brigade headquarters at Uri
June 26, 2016
8 CRPF men killed and 22 others injured when terrorists attack a CRPF convoy at Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Two terrorists killed in the attack