With reports of attacks on Kashmiri students and residents emerged in wake of the Pulwama attack, the union home ministry directed States and union territories to take immediate measures to ensure safety and security of students and residents from the valley.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also held a security review meeting on Saturday following an all-party meeting where he conveyed the resolution adopted by the political delegation to the top security brass, urging them to take necessary steps to prevent any communal flare.
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The meeting attended by RAW, IB top brass among others discussed possible steps to rope in social media giants like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter among others to filter sensitive content. Singh further directed the officials to highlight the involvement of role of Pakistan state actors in the Pulwama terror attack.
On Thursday, a vehicle-borne suicide bomber had rammed into a CRPF bus on Jammu-Srinagar highway killing 40 personnel. The attack was claimed by Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the bomber was identified as Adil Ahmed Dar, a resident of Pulwama in south Kashmir.
Following the terror attack, incidents of arson and violence were reported from Jammu city after which Home Minister R Singh called up the BJP leadership and asked them to play an active role in maintaining communal harmony.
Singh is learnt to have spoken to former deputy chief minister of J&K Nirmal Singh and sought his assistance in maintaining peace in the area. Official source said Singh cautioned State BJP President Ravinder Raina that no one from the party should be encouraged to give speeches or statements that could further fan violence.
Earlier, the State police has imposed curfew in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar after protesters set on fire parked vehicles in a particular community’s area during a bandh called by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Jammu Bar Association. A number of vehicles were damaged in Gujjar Nagar after protests, according to reports available with the MHA.
“There have been some reports of students and other residents of J&K experiencing threats and intimidation in the wake of terrorist attack in Pulwama. Therefore MHA issued an advisory to all States and Union Territories to take necessary measures to ensure their safety and security,” said a senior MHA official.
There were reports from Dehradun of a crowd shouting slogans and asking Kashmiri students to vacate the hostel. Police was rushed to the scene and students were rescued. The shops of some shawl traders in Patna was vandalised by a mob wielding lathis who gave them an ultimatum to leave the State within 24 hours.
“Home Minister told the officials that all political parties were together on the issue. The officials have been asked to monitor law and order situation and highlight the Pakistani links to the attack,” added the senior government official.
On scaling down the security cover of individuals with suspected Pakistani links, home ministry officials clarified that the decision will be taken by the state government and Jammu-Kashmir police. During his Srinagar visit on Friday, HM Singh had said, “some people take money from Pakistan ISI, their security should be reviewed.”
Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also met Singh and requested him to take all steps to ensure Jammu remains calm.
“I took the opportunity to inform @rajnathsingh Sb of the reports I had received of Kashmiri students & others being threatened/harassed and requested him to appoint a nodal officer in @hmoindia to ensure the directive issued to states is followed in letter and spirit,” Abdullah tweeted