Adopt zero-terror plan in Jammu region: Union home minister Amit Shah | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Adopt zero-terror plan in Jammu region: Union home minister Amit Shah

ByNeeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
Jun 17, 2024 04:56 AM IST

Amit Shah directs the army, paramilitary forces, and intel agencies to replicate Kashmir's anti-terrorism success in Jammu after recent terror attacks.

Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday directed the army, paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies to “replicate the successes achieved in Kashmir valley against terrorism” in the Jammu region as he chaired a high-level meeting to review the security situation in the Union territory in the wake of four terror attacks last week and preparations ahead of the Amarnath Yatra.

Union home minister Amit Shah at the review meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI)
Union home minister Amit Shah at the review meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI)

The home minister stressed on the importance of using modern technology to strengthen local intelligence networks, locate tunnels used by terrorists and deal with the drone intrusions, underlining that security forces and intelligence agencies need to work on “mission mode” and streamline coordination.

The five-hour long meeting was held at North Block and attended by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Jammu & Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha, Army chief General Manoj Pande, Army chief-designate Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, Intelligence Bureau (IB) director Tapan Deka, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) director general Anish Dayal Singh, Border Security Force (BSF) director general Nitin Agarwal, J&K police chief RR Swain and other top security officials.

“The Union home minister directed security agencies to replicate the successes achieved in Kashmir valley through area domination plan and zero terror plan in Jammu division. He asserted that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is committed to set an example by cracking down on terrorists through innovative means. The home minister directed all security agencies to work in a mission mode and ensure quick response in a coordinated manner,” said a statement issued by the ministry of home affairs.

The meeting comes on the back of a spate of attacks that roiled Jammu last week.

In four back-to-back terror attacks in Reasi, Kathua and Doda districts since June 9, highly trained foreign terrorists from Pakistan have targeted civilians and security forces.

The first was an attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi on June 9, when armed terrorists opened fire on the vehicle, causing it to lose control and plunge into a gorge, with nine people dead and 42 others injured.

On Tuesday night, another gunbattle began in Kathua, continuing into Wednesday morning, leaving one Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan dead, six security personnel and one civilian injured, and two terrorists neutralised.

Then, two attacks took place on Wednesday.

In one, a group of three to four militants opened fire on a joint check post of the 4 Rashtriya Rifles and the Jammu & Kashmir Police in Chattargala area in Doda on the Bhaderwah-Pathankot road at 1.45am on Wednesday. The ensuing gunbattle lasted several hours, leaving five army personnel and a special police officer injured.

The second attack was in the Kota Top area, 150km away from Chhattargala, when a second group of terrorists attacked a police team and injured head constable Fareed Ahmed.

The string of attacks have sent ripples through the region fast becoming the hotbed of cross-border terrorism in the restive Union Territory. Prime Minister Modi chaired a high-level review meeting on Thursday and asked security forces to deploy the full spectrum of counterterror capabilities to deal with the spate of attacks.

On identifying vulnerable areas and dealing with the latest terror threat, Shah in Sunday’s meeting “emphasised on seamless coordination amongst the security agencies, identifying vulnerable areas and addressing the security concerns of such areas”.

Assuring that the Centre will leave no stone unturned in rooting out terrorism, the home minister said that “the fight against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is in its decisive phase”.

“Recent incidents show that terrorism has been forced to shrink from highly organized acts of terrorist violence to a mere proxy war. We are determined to root it out as well,” added MHA, quoting Shah.

A senior counterterrorism official who asked not be named said that following the meeting, “counterterrorism operations will intensify in the coming days to trace absconding foreign terrorists and their local supporters”.

Intelligence agencies have estimated that 70-80 foreign fighters have infiltrated from across the border over the past few months.

Along with a review of terror incidents in Jammu, Shah also discussed the preparations for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage, which is scheduled to begin on June 29.

Shah instructed security agencies to be vigilant and ensure sufficient deployment of security personnel, and underlined the need to follow “perfect inter-agency coordination for effective security arrangements”, including a well-established standard operating response mechanism. Shah said that the government is committed to ensure a convenient and hassle-free experience for devotees.

Currently, 70 battalions (approximately 70,000 personnel) of central paramilitary forces are deployed in the Union territory. Officials, who asked not to be named, said the home minister has for adequate security arrangements along the entire Yatra route as well as on the routes from the airport and railway station to the yatra base camp.

Although meetings are underway to finalise deployment, it is expected that like previous years, around 450-500 additional companies of central forces may be sent exclusively for securing Amarnath Yatra this year as well.

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