Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh would attend a sports conclave in Srinagar, review the suspension of anti-militancy operations and visit a border district as he begins his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, officials said. As first reported by The Indian Express on Monday, a number of projects related to creating employment opportunities and sports infrastructure to attract youths, will also be unveiled during the visit.
Singh might also attend an Iftar hosted by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, an official said. During his visit, he would review the situation in the state, particularly in border areas and the Valley, which has seen several incidents of violence recently.
There would also be a detailed review of the situation since May 16 when the Centre unilaterally announced suspension of anti-militancy operations during the month of Ramzan, an official said. The need for the exercise was to understand the impact of the ceasefire on the life of citizens and whether to extend it further, the official said.
Singh would hold meetings with Governor N N Vohra, the chief minister, and top civil, police and paramilitary officials. The minister might also make an announcement on whether the operations would be suspended beyond Eid and during the Amarnath Yatra beginning on June 28, the official said.
Recent incidents of stone pelting, attacks on security forces in the Kashmir valley and infiltration attempts along the border would also figure in the meetings Singh would hold with the security brass, the official said.
Singh’s visit comes amid an offer for talks with the Hurriyat Conference. The separatist amalgam, however, had made it clear that it was ready for a dialogue only if there was clarity on the initiative, Jammu and Kashmir was declared “disputed”, and a few other conditions were met.
The minister would also review the situation along the Indo-Pak border, where cross-border firing led to the death of at least 20 people and evacuation of several thousand people this year. The ongoing development projects, declared as part of the Rs 80,000 crore package announced by PM Narendra Modi, would also be reviewed, another official said.
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