Amid troop build-up in Kashmir, Narendra Modi to chair Cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Abhyas Varga, a training programme for BJP MPs, in New Delhi on August 4, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting of the Union Cabinet on August 5 morning, where an important announcement is expected. It was not known whether the decision was related to Jammu and Kashmir.

Amid the build-up of Central armed police forces in the State, Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a review meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Sunday.

The meeting, held at Mr. Shah’s office in Parliament, was also attended by Union Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Intelligence Bureau chief Arvind Kumar and Research and Analysis Wing chief Samant Goel. Mr. Doval and other officials refused to comment as they left the meeting.

Mr. Shah also held discussions with Gyanesh Kumar, Additional Secretary, who is in charge of the Kashmir desk.

A senior government official in Srinagar said the officials were asked to prepare for any kind of law and order situation. “We are always on alert, but we have not been given any reason for the deployment of additional forces. This is only for maintenance of law and order,” the official told The Hindu.

Asked whether it was related to the abrogation of Article 35A that lets the administration decide the “permanent residents” of the State, the official said, “We have not been told anything.”

Another official added that security threat to the Amarnath Yatra was always there. “The way the Kashmir Valley is being emptied of tourists and Amarnath pilgrims is unprecedented. But the security of the locals is also our responsibility, and we are deploying forces to address this concern,” he said. As of now, there are 1.3 lakh Central forces deployed in the State, besides the Army and the police.

Last week, the Army said Pakistan-based terror groups had made several attempts to launch fidayeen attacks in the Kashmir Valley. The State government issued a circular asking Amarnath pilgrims to “curtail” the yatra in wake of credible intelligence inputs about a terror attack.

The State is now under President’s rule.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Saturday that Governor Satya Pal Malik had assured him that “there is no initiative in progress to dilute Article 35A of the Constitution, start delimitation or trifurcate [the State].”

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 6:34:11 PM |

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