Amit Shah to visit J&K, review security for Amarnath Yatra
Shah is expected to attend a meeting of the Unified Command, the apex decision-making body on security affairs in the state, comprising top representatives from the army, paramilitary forces, police and intelligence agencies
Union home minister Amit Shah is expected to visit Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in the last week of June, during which he will review security arrangements for the annual Amarnath Yatra that begins on July 1, officials said. This will be his first official visit to any state after taking charge of the ministry.
This year, as many as 300,000 devotees are likely to take part in the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine. The government will deploy 45,000 security personnel to protect them.
In addition, Shah is expected to attend a meeting of the Unified Command, the apex decision-making body on security affairs in the state, which comprises top representatives from the army, paramilitary forces, police and intelligence agencies, according to the officials cited above, who requested anonymity.
Shah’s visit comes at a time when security forces in J&K have stepped up counterterrorism operations in the state, the site of a three-decade-old insurgency, killing more than 100 suspected militants so far this year.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under direct federal rule, administered by the governor, since June 2018 when chief minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned after the Bharatiya Janata Party walked out of a coalition with her People’s Democratic Party.
Shah has, meanwhile, assigned work to his deputies. Ministers of state for home Nityanand Rai and G Kishan Reddy will be handling 21 divisions of the home ministry, including Jammu and Kashmir, counterterrorism and counter-radicalisation. Shah will be the overall in charge.
The ministry of home affairs that handles internal security, border management, Centre-state relations, left-wing extremism (LWE) and coordinates intelligence, supervises the investigation agencies among others, is one of the most critical arms of the Union government.
Shah, who took charge as home minister last month, will also continue to lead the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party until December.
The junior ministers have worked closely with Shah earlier; Rai and Reddy were state presidents of the BJP in Bihar and Telangana, respectively.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all cabinet ministers to delegate more work to their juniors and involve them in decision-making.
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