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Amit Shah calls for strict action against militancy, funding

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Reviews security situation in Kashmir at UHQ meeting

Srinagar, Jun 27: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday chaired the unified headquarters meeting of the security grid in Jammu and Kashmir and reviewed the overall security situation in the state, officials said.

The Home minister, who was on a two-day visit to the state, reviewed the overall security situation in the state with special emphasis on restoration of peace in Kashmir and counter-insurgency operations, the officials said.

State Governor Satya Pal Malik, his advisor incharge home affairs K Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, Northern Army commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, DGP Dilbagh Singh, heads of various intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces were present in the meeting, the officials said.

The Home minister earlier visited the family of Jammu and Kashmir Police inspector Arshad Ahmed Khan, who was killed in a militant attack in Anantnag on June 12.

Shah arrived here Wednesday on his maiden visit to the state after taking over the charge of the Home Ministry, signifying the importance given to Jammu and Kashmir by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

This was Shah's first official visit outside the Union capital after assuming charge.

The Home minister on Wednesday reviewed the security arrangements for Amarnath Yatra, which commences on July 01.

He had also reviewed the developmental works including the Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister's Development Package announced by Narendra Modi for the state in 2015.

Shah impressed upon security forces in Jammu and Kashmir to show zero-tolerance towards militancy and take strict action against its funding in the state.

Shah, who was on a two-day visit to Kashmir, gave these directions during a security review meeting with top officials from the State government and the Centre. Governor Satya Pal Malik was also present in the meeting.

The Home minister called for tightening the noose around militant activities in the state, State Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said while briefing reporters about the two-day visit of Shah.

"There should be zero-tolerance towards terrorism and terrorists. There should be continued strict action against terror funding. The rule of law should be enforced," Subrahmanyam said, quoting the Home minister.

Shah praised efforts of the Jammu and Kashmir Police in “countering-terrorism and militancy, and directed that the state government should commemorate the martyrdom of its policemen in their hometowns and villages in an appropriate manner each year”.

"Prominent public places should also be named after martyred policemen," Shah said in the meeting.

The Home minister also reviewed the preparations for Amarnath Yatra, which will start from July 01.

"The review focused on the preparations made so far by security forces in this regard, the improvements made in the arrangements as compared to the previous years and any further requirements of security forces. The review also examined the administrative and other arrangements made for ensuring smooth conduct of the Yatra," the Chief Secretary said.

Shah stressed that there should be no laxity in the enforcement of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and senior officials should personally supervise the arrangements for the Yatra at all levels, he said.

"Forces should ensure best possible optimum use of latest technologies and the gadgets not only for the security of the Yatra but also to facilitate the movement of the devotees and the tourists," Subrahmanyam said, quoting the Home minister.

Shah specifically drew attention of the forces towards anti-sabotage as well as anti-subversion drills and the access control procedures.

The Union Home minister reassured his commitment towards best possible arrangements during the Yatra.

During the meeting, the agencies gave a detailed briefing on the security scenario in the state, the results of the last one years' efforts in containing militancy and their future plans, the Chief Secretary said.

 … directs J-K admin to tackle corruption

Srinagar, Jun 27: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday directed the administration here to tackle corruption and plug leakages in implementation of development schemes to ensure that benefits of those reach the impoverished sections of the society.

Shah reviewed development programmes in the state in a meeting and said that he would assess the performance of the state on multiple fronts periodically.

"The Union Home minister's focus was primarily on ensuring that the benefits of growth and development reach the poorest of the poor," Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam told reporters here at the end of Shah's maiden two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir after assuming charge.

Shah asked the State government to focus on better and more efficient implementation of development schemes so that corruption and leakages are plugged and the citizens to get the intended benefits, he said.

"The review covered a wide range of issues related to improving the economic condition of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, providing them with employment and livelihood opportunities, providing them the benefit of social security schemes, and raising their incomes," Subrahmanyam said.

The Union Home minister issued a slew of directions to the State government with focus on socially and economically weaker sections of the society in the state.

"The State government should ensure that old age, disability and widow pensions reach all those entitled to these, in a timely manner. There should be a quick scrutiny of all eligible people who are left out and their inclusion must be ensured," Shah told the meeting, adding the Centre will ensure additional funds for these.

He also directed the State government to tap in the potential of dairy and animal husbandry sector by working towards signing MoUs with popular dairy brands and create a programme for ensuring that diary commodities become surplus.

The Union minister asked the state officials to explore the potential of the poultry sector as well and said the Central government would support efforts in this direction.

Terming handloom and handicraft sector one of the brightest spots on Jammu and Kashmir's economic landscape, Shah said, "The potential in this sector has not been fully captured. The state should take the help of the Khadi & Village Industries, MSME and Textiles departments of the Centre to improve nearly 40 spheres in this sector. The growth of this sector would increase employment and livelihoods of poor households."

He also urged the state to prepare a programme for reaching out to the youth who are highly skilled such as MBBS, engineers, MBAs, etc. and do not have gainful employment or livelihood.

The Home minister, who a met a delegation of sarpanches during his visit, said the state should ensure that the newly-established Panchayati Raj and Urban Local Body system takes deep roots and establishes itself as the third tier of government.

While addressing the sarpanches, the Union Home minister urged them to be the agencies of inclusive growth and development in the rural areas and assured the sarpanches that the government would address all their issues and provide all kinds of administrative and financial support to them.

He impressed upon them to ensure that all Central government schemes are implemented at the grass-root level in their true spirit. He asked them to work in an honest, fair and just manner so that public reposes faith in them and they become the true representatives of people.

He also asked the State government to focus on schemes for women development.

The interaction was attended by Advisors to Governor, K Vijay Kumar, K Sikandan; Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Guba; Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu and other senior officers of State and Central government.

HM visits slain SHO’s family

“Nation is proud of your son”

Srinagar, Jun 27: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday visited the residence of police officer Arshad Ahmed Khan, who died after being injured in a militant attack on June 12 in Anantnag district, and assured his family that the government will look after them.

Shah, accompanied by officials, went to the Balgarden residence of Khan near the city's Civil Lines area and met his parents Mushtaq Ahmed Khan and Mehbooba Begum, wife, brother and children Uhbaan (5 years) and Daamin (18 months).

The Home minister came and offered his condolence, and assured that the government will look after the family of the “brave son of the country”, a kin of Arshad Khan, who was present at the meeting, said.

Shah also handed a letter of commendation, highlighting the sacrifice of the police officer, to members of the family and it was eventually in the hands of 18-month-old Daamin.

On his official Twitter handle, Shah said Khan's "sacrifice for the security of our nation has saved many lives. The entire nation is proud of Arshad Khan‘s valour and courage".

Khan, 37, was injured in the militant attack on June 12 and later flown to Delhi in an air ambulance for specialised treatment. However, he succumbed to injuries at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on June 16.

Five CRPF personnel were killed in the militant attack, in which Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants targeted a patrol team of the paramilitary force.

Khan, the SHO of Police Station Saddar in Anantnag, reached the site soon after.

The moment he stepped out of his official bulletproof vehicle, along with his service rifle, a barrage of bullets were fired by the militant. One bullet ricocheted from the butt of his service rifle and hit his liver and duodenum, officials had said.

Khan was appointed Sub-Inspector in the Jammu and Kashmir Police in 2002 and served in various important capacities.

During the 2016 agitation following the death of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Khan, who was then posted as Station House Officer of Bijbehara, single-handedly cleared the highway and ensured that there was no traffic restriction.

Khan, whose ancestors are from Peshawar in Pakistan, never succumbed to political pressure and was shifted from Bijbehara prematurely after he had rounded up many so-called activists of a political party. (With PTI inputs)

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