Union Home Minister Amit Shah reached Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday for a three-day visit, during which he will hold a security review meet in Srinagar and visit some violence-affected districts in the Valley, The Indian Express reported.
This is Shah’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre scrapped its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019. He had last visited the erstwhile state right after taking over as the home minister in June 2019.
After landing at the Srinagar airport, Shah visited the family of Inspector Parvaiz Ahmad, who was killed by militants on June 22 as he was returning home after praying at a local mosque. Shah offered Ahmad’s wife a government job.
Security was tightened in Kashmir, with drones and motorboats of the Central Reserve Police Force being put in operation ahead of Shah’s visit, NDTV reported.
The CRPF’s Deputy Inspector General (Operations) Mathew A John told the news channel that snipers and sharpshooters have been deployed at strategic places. “Vehicles are being checked and pedestrians are being frisked,” he added. “It’s not to harass the public but for their safety, too.”
On Saturday, Shah is likely to chair a unified command meeting on security at the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar, The Indian Express reported, citing unidentified officials. After that, the home minister is slated to take part in some “political engagements” at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre.
During the visit, Shah is also scheduled to visit the families of Kashmiri Pandit pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo, a Sikh teacher and a Muslim civilian, all of whom were killed by militants recently.
He is also likely to visit Lethpora in Pulwama district to pay homage to the 40 CRPF personnel who were killed in a terrorist attack in February 2019.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police had on Friday seized several two-wheelers in Srinagar and shut down the internet in some areas. The residents were asked to collect their vehicles from the police after October 26.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police said that the bikes were seized and the internet was shut down because of terrorism-related incidents in the Union Territory. “It has got nothing to do with the home minister’s [Amit Shah] visit,” the police said in a tweet.