Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday for his first trip to the state since being appointed to the Cabinet, the Hindustan Times reported. Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba will accompany the minister to Srinagar for a two-day visit.
The home minister will review the security situation in the state ahead of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, and the progress of the Centre’s development projects, an unidentified government official told the newspaper. The Amarnath Yatra will begin on July 1 and end on August 15. He will also preside over a meeting of the Unified Command, which comprises officers of the Indian Army, the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and the state police.
Shah is expected to chair the meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik, who said on Saturday that the separatist group Hurriyat Conference was ready for talks. Hurriyat Chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has also expressed willingness to hold talks, though an unidentified government official said that the Home Ministry is not in agreement as the Hurriyat has always made peace overtures when a high-ranking United States official comes to India. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in New Delhi for a three-day visit.
“Security measures have been put in place in line with the protocol of the home minister’s visit,” an intelligence official told Mint. “Other than that, forces are keeping vigil at all times as we have inputs to believe that the Jaish-e-Mohammad and its fringe groups or other splinter groups are planning more attacks similar to the one in Pulwama in February.”
Shah will also visit the Amarnath cave shrine. He will also address workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party and panchayat members separately during the visit, IANS reported. Shah was earlier scheduled to visit the Kashmir Valley on June 30 but it was advanced due to his busy schedule before the Union Budget, said an unidentified official.