Press Trust of india

Centre to take call on ceasefire extension in JK: Ahir

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Kolkata, Jun 15: Union minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir today said the people of Kashmir wanted the ceasefire, announced on account of Ramazan, to be extended and security operations suspended, but the final call on the matter would be taken by the Centre.

“The people of Kashmir are happy and they want the (security) operations to remain suspended. We are committed to keeping the people happy and safe and secure our country from any kind of threat. We will do whatever is needed to achieve that goal,” he told reporters at the state BJP office here.

Stating that the Centre would decide on whether to extend the ceasefire and suspend the operations in the Valley, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs said, “We want peace, we are not trigger-happy, but that does not mean we will not respond to ceasefire violations.”

He added that the Centre had announced the ceasefire keeping in mind the holy month of Ramazan, “but Pakistan had time and again violated it”.

“Our priority is to keep the people of our country happy and safe. Kashmir has been burning for decades due to terrorist activities. We have always given a befitting reply to the terror tactics of Pakistan,” he said.

Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of ‘Rising Kashmir’ newspaper, was gunned down in Srinagar yesterday. The killing of the journalist, who was on his way to an Iftar party, came just before the Centre’s Ramazan ceasefire ended, triggering a debate on whether the government should resume the operations against militants in the Kashmir Valley.

“People behind the killing of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari would not be able to escape the law,” Ahir said.

Condemning the killing of Bukhari, the minister said exemplary action would be taken against those involved in the crime.

“It’s a very sad incident. The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister has already ordered a probe into the matter. The accused will not be able to escape. We will take strict action against the miscreants. Nobody will be spared,” Ahir told reporters here.

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