Call on extending J&K truce after Eid
Govt Goes All Out To Make Yatra Safe
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.