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Shinde goes shopping in tension-free Srinagar

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Home Minister reviews security, lauds forces

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde with Jammu and Kashmir Home Minister Nasir Aslam Wani taking an inspection ride in the Dal Lake in Srinagar on Saturday.— PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde with Jammu and Kashmir Home Minister Nasir Aslam Wani taking an inspection ride in the Dal Lake in Srinagar on Saturday.— PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday lauded the security forces for dealing with internal and external threats in Jammu and Kashmir, and assured them of the Centre’s full support in maintaining peace in the State.

Mr. Shinde, who chaired a Unified Headquarters meeting here, appreciated the way the Army, the police, the CRPF and the BSF dealt with law and order problems, militancy and infiltration bids from across the Line of Control, official sources said.

The Minister, however, asked the security grid to remain alert ahead of winter as there might be attempts from across the LoC to push militants into the Kashmir Valley.

Mr. Shinde was briefed on the measures taken to check infiltration and on the counter-insurgency operations in the hinterland.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, senior police officers, Army officers, intelligence agency heads in the State and representatives of para-military forces attended the meeting.

The Home Minister, who arrived on a three-day visit to the State on Friday, visited the Dal Lake on Saturday to assess conservation works. The Centre has sanctioned over Rs. 350 crore for saving the lake. He offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine, on the banks of the lake. Highlighting the improvement in the security scenario in Kashmir, Mr. Shinde went shopping in the posh Polo View market and drove through the Lal Chowk area here.

He then drove to Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) at the historic Lal Chowk before heading towards the Amirakadal bridge.

Though Mr. Shinde’s predecessor, P. Chidambaram, drove through the old city late in the evening last year, this is the first time since eruption of militancy that the Home Minister of the country has visited the commercial hub of Lal Chowk even as people carried on with their normal routine. — PTI

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