Home Minister Amit Shah to chair critical meeting on Kashmir
The Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to chair a security meeting on Friday regarding the evolving scenario in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Manoj Sinha, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, has been summoned to Delhi for the meeting. The meeting has been called following the attacks, including on a bank manager, in an eight-day spree of targeted killings in the region.
- The meeting comes amid a spike in civilian killings in the Kashmir Valley over the last few months.
- The Valley has witnessed nearly 20 targeted killings, including those of police officials, teachers, and sarpanches.
- Notably, the terrorists mainly targeted Kashmiri Pandits and laborers from outside J&K.
- Earlier on May 17, too, Shah held a review meeting on various security issues and the Amarnath Yatra.
Shah's review meeting with Manoj Sinha and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, among others, will decide on the deployment of additional troops in the region. Top J&K Police officials are likely to brief Shah about civilian killings and steps taken by the police against the threat to civilians, sources said. They will also share data on civilians and forces killed in terror attacks.
On Wednesday, terrorists killed a Hindu bank manager in his office in Kulgam. Hours later, two migrant laborers were shot in central Kashmir. One of them eventually died in the hospital. Terrorists also killed a Hindu school teacher on Tuesday. Last week, terrorists also shot dead three off-duty police officers and a television actress, all of whom were Muslims, in three separate incidents.
The killings in Kashmir have intensified calls by Kashmiri Pandits to ensure their security. Many have started to leave the Kashmir Valley amid a lockdown in the camps where they stay. "We are all scared. There is a security failure in Kashmir. We implore the LG (Lieutenant Governor) to let us leave for Jammu," said a member of the community in an SOS video.
Meanwhile, political parties in Jammu and Kashmir condemned the attacks. "Total breakdown of Law & Order," the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tweeted. The National Conference also condemned the incident, stating that the "spate of deaths" continues unabated and exposes the government's "total failure" despite strong security deployment. Meanwhile, the Peoples Conference said the cycle of deaths must be broken.