360-degree net to tackle terror in J&K soon: Amit Shah

He said a similar mechanism will also be strengthened further \'to completely eliminate the support and information system of terrorists\'

SRINAGAR: Union home minister Amit Shah said on Friday that the security forces will enforce a 360-degree net in Jammu and Kashmir to wipe out terrorism and its ecosystem. He said a similar mechanism will also be strengthened further "to completely eliminate the support and information system of terrorists".

Mr Shah was addressing the media in Jammu after holding a high-level security review meeting in J&K’s winter capital against the backdrop of the recent back-to-back terror attacks in the border district of Rajouri.

Before the "crucial" meeting, he was scheduled to fly to Rajouri's Upper Dhangri village, where seven Hindu residents, including two children, were killed and ten others wounded in January 1-2 incidents. However, due to inclement weather, Air Traffic Control did not grant clearance for his onward helicopter journey.

The official sources said that Mr Shah has taken a serious view of the Upper Dangri incidents and asked the security forces to step up the offensive against the separatist militants, whose number is believed to have only increased in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

The home minister said: "My desire was to share the grief of the victims' families in Rajouri, but I could not go there due to bad weather. I spoke to all the families over the phone and tried to share their grief."

Asked if he will extend his visit so that he could travel to Rajouri to meet the victims’ families, Mr Shah said, "There is a bad weather advisory for the next three days. I will come again and surely meet the families of the Rajouri attack victims."

He said that while speaking to the families of each slain civilian over the phone, "I was glad that, despite losing dear ones, they are ready to fight terror with full vigour."

Mr Shah added: "The courage of all those victims’ families is an example for the whole country. It is a big thing to maintain the morale of fighting hard even after such a big incident."

The home minister said that by pursuing the policy of "zero tolerance" against terrorism under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi all security agencies are fighting a decisive battle against this menace. He asserted: "The government led by Modiji stands firmly with the families of the victims and is determined to help them. With full empathy, the affected families will be given benefits through various schemes of the government, along with this all-possible help will be provided by the lieutenant-governor (of J&K) with relief measures under his authority".

He said that at Friday’s meeting all aspects of security were discussed threadbare and it was decided to create a very secure grid in the coming days. "All the security agencies of the country are fully prepared and their morale is high with confidence to prevent such incidents."

Announcing that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will, in close cooperation with the J&K police, probe the Upper Dangri incidents, he said that all militancy-related incidents that took place in the Jammu region during the past one-and-a-half years will also be investigated by the NIA.

He said: "Jammu police will work jointly with the NIA and bring the culprits of the Rajouri carnage to justice. The NIA will also probe all the terrorism-related incidents that took place in the region in the past one-and-a-half years."

The Union home minister reiterated that the security agencies in Jammu are alert and "committed to wipe-out terror, its ecosystem, over ground workers’ network and zero-in on those who are providing logistic support to terrorism."

Replying to questions, the home minister said that compared to the time when "terrorism took birth in J&K", there have been the least number of incidents and deaths in recent times. He said that within three months the security grid in every area of Jammu will be made impenetrable by further strengthening it. "I assure the citizens of Jammu that whatever the intention of the terrorist organisations, our security agencies will be ready to protect Jammu," he added.

He said that all the security agencies responsible for maintaining peace in the Jammu region attended Friday’s meeting. "All of us agreed to cast a 360-degree net to wipe out terrorism from the region."

Asked about strengthening the village defence committees (VDC) in the Rajouri-Poonch region in the wake of the recent attack, he said, "The decision to strengthen the VDCs was taken in August last year. This should not be linked to the Rajouri incident.

Replying to another question, he said the security forces "are giving a befitting reply to every plan of terror". He added: "J&K L-G has taken a series of steps to protect the minority members as he has the powers to do so. If we go by the figures, minority killings are far less compared to previous years."

He further said, "I can tell you surely that the situation is much better than what it was earlier here in J&K. Civilian killings were reduced post abrogation of Article 370."

The security review meeting was attended, among others, by the L-G, the Union home secretary, chief secretary, financial commissioner (Home) and DGP of J&K, Army’s Northern Command Chief and other senior officers of the Army, BSF, CRPF, other Central Armed Police Forces, J&K police and intelligence agencies.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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