Call on ex­tend­ing J&K truce af­ter Eid

Govt Goes All Out To Make Ya­tra Safe

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - @times­

New Delhi: The Cen­tre will take a call af­ter Eid on whether or not to ex­tend the Ramzan truce in Jammu and Kash­mir, a se­nior gov­ern­ment func­tionary said, adding that se­cu­rity for the en­su­ing Amar­nath Ya­tra would be one of the key fac­tors in the de­ci­sion.

Top MHA sources said on Thurs­day that all pos­si­ble pre­cau­tions — in­clud­ing keep­ing the op­tion of ini­ti­at­ing oper­a­tions if there was spe­cific in­tel­li­gence — would be taken to en­sure an in­ci­dent-free pil­grim­age.

The killing of jour­nal­ist Shu­jaat Bukhari and the ab­duc­tion and killing of Army man Au­rangzeb just two days be­fore Eid have only un­der­lined the de­ter­mi­na­tion of ter­ror­ists and their han­dlers, and this will be fac­tored in when the de­ci­sion mak­ers sit down af­ter Eid.

“The ya­tra, which sees the par­tic­i­pa­tion of thou­sands of pil­grims, has been tar­geted in the past, in­clud­ing last year. Any at­tack this year could en­tail heavy po­lit­i­cal cost for BJP. This time, all pos­si­ble se­cu­rity ar­range­ments are be­ing ini­ti­ated, in­clud­ing drone sur­veil­lance, reg­is­tra­tion of all buses car­ry­ing ya­tris and their track­ing with RFID tags, en­sur­ing that the ve­hi­cles stick to the route and per­mit­ted travel tim­ings and fool­proof se­cu­rity of ya­tri camps,” a se­nior home min­istry func­tionary said af­ter a high-level se­cu­rity re­view chaired by the home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh here on Thurs­day.

“Mul­ti­ple fac­tors to be weighed in­clude indices of vi­o­lence dur­ing Ramzan, spike in grenade at­tacks and weapon snatch­ing though these mostly in­volved un­trained, lo­cal youth, and im­proved lo­cal sen­ti­ment,” he said. “A to­tal stop of vi­o­lence is not pos­si­ble be­cause of the level of rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion,” the of­fi­cer added.

Also, with a clear push to open talks with Hur­riyat, con­tin­u­a­tion of the truce may be pre­ferred.

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