PC to review security of 5 districts at Kishtwar2 February 2011
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: For the first time after L K Advani, a Union Home Minister would be visiting militancy-infested Kishtwar district on February 4 and review security, law and order and terror situation in five districts of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Udhampur and Reasi with police and civil administration. The visit to Kishtwar district, which was once known as a hub of militancy with writ of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HUJI) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) running large, was aimed at giving a signal that terrorism has mostly been wiped out from these five districts, authoritative sources said. Accompanied by Additional Director IB Rajiv Kapoor, DG CRPF K Vijay Kumar and Joint Secretary Home K Sikandan, P Chidambaram, who would arrive here tomorrow afternoon from New Delhi, is also scheduled to have a very significant meeting with senior leaders of the Congress including all Ministers of the party in NC-Congress coalition Government, MLAs, MLCs and office bearers comprising about 35 to 40 party men. The meeting would last over two hours from 5 pm to 7 pm at the State Guest House. The Home Minister reportedly wanted to know his own party's viewpoint on a series of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), which the Centre proposed to take before summer to prevent last year like unrest in the Valley and other initiatives in the State. He would have dinner meeting on February 3 with Governor N N Vohra and breakfast meeting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on February 4, which would be followed by a high level security review meeting at CM's banquet hall after which the Union Minister would fly to Kishtwar before returning to the Union capital. In all meetings, the prevailing situation in the State especially the security scenario, militancy related situation, infiltration attempts and steps required to prevent last year like summer unrest in the Valley this year would be discussed. The CBMs proposed and other recommendations made by the Interlocutors after their four visits to the State would also come up for a review in the meetings. Sources attached very significance to the decision of Mr Chidambaram to go to Kishtwar himself to review security, law and order and militancy related situation there instead of calling the officers of five districts to Jammu for a review. This is for the first time after L K Advani that a Union Home Minister is visiting any militancy-infested district of Jammu. Advani, who was the Home Minister in Atal Behari Vajpayee led NDA Government, had in 1998 visited Doda and Reasi after massacres by the militants. Kishtwar and Ramban were then part of undivided Doda district while Reasi was part of Udhampur district. Sources said 50 militants, mostly top commanders of LeT, HUJI and HM outfits were killed in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts in 2010 while 48 ultras were killed in Doda district alone in 2009. In Reasi district, more than 30 militants including some dreaded commanders, were eliminated last year. Doda district, where militants ruled the roost just few years back, was left with not even a single foreign mercenary. Sources said Mr Chidambaram would fly to Kishtwar on February 4 at 10 am after breakfast meeting with Mr Abdullah and a high level security review. He would stay at National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC) complex in Kishtwar town. Accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal and IGP Jammu Dilbagh Singh, the Union Home Minister would review the situation of five districts-Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Udhampur and Reasi with DIG Doda-Ramban range Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG Udhampur-Reasi range, Jagjit Kumar and concerned Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of all five districts. Few days back, Mr Khoda had stated in a press conference that five districts of Jammu region including Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi were 'free of militancy'. The Union Home Ministry had repeatedly stated that partial or phased withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) could be considered from peaceful districts of Jammu and Kashmir depending upon the situation. The Interlocutors on J&K-Dileep Padgaonkar, Prof Radha Kumar and MM Ansari-after their four visits to the State have also recommended a series of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to the Union Home Ministry which included troop cut, phased withdrawal of AFSPA, release of all separatists and other political detenues besides stone pelters and other youths detained during last year's summer unrest in the Valley, taking Government and administration up to grass root level through Panchayats and Local Bodies, stepping-up development further and setting up of peace committees etc. Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had recently stated that the Centre was considering 25 per cent troops cut in the State. Sources said after meeting the senior Congress leaders including Ministers, legislators and selected office bearers of the party at the Guest House tomorrow for about two hours, Mr Chidambaram would leave for Raj Bhawan at about 7 pm. He would have a dinner meeting with Governor N N Vohra during which prevailing scenario in the State and steps required for a solution to Kashmir problem would be discussed. He would have night halt at the Raj Bhawan. On February 4, the Union Home Minister will have 45 minutes breakfast meeting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at his official residence beginning 8 am. The entire situation in the State, recommendations of the Interlocutors and steps needed to check any kind of unrest in the Valley in summer this year would be discussed at the meeting besides other issues of important nature. The Home Minister will have a high level security review meeting at the CM's banquet hall from 8.45 am to 9.45 with top brass of the State administration. After the meeting, the Home Minister would fly to Kishtwar. On February 4 afternoon, the Home Minister would fly from Kishtwar to Jammu and return to New Delhi.