“Orders constant vigil along international borders”
Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, MAY 24:
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the suspension of operations announced by the government about a week ago and expressed satisfaction over the relatively calm atmosphere prevailing in the valley, officials said.
During the hour-long meeting, the home minister was briefed by top security officials about the law and order situation in the state, where incidents of stone pelting have come down significantly ever since the suspension of operations by security forces was announced on May 16.
Singh was told that people in Jammu and Kashmir have responded positively to the central government’s decision and it may pave the way for enduring peace in the restive Kashmir Valley, a Home Ministry official said.
The home minister has expressed satisfaction over the ground report of relative calm in the state, the official said, adding there was a possibility that the measure may be extended if the incidents of violence came down.
The Home Ministry announced on May 16 that security forces would not launch any operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan.
The decision had been taken to help peace-loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment, a Home Ministry spokesperson had said.
The ministry said the security forces, however, reserved the right to retaliate
Rajnath reviews ……
if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people.
Stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have come down since the Centre announced suspension of operations.
According to available data, there were just 16 incidents of stone pelting in Kashmir Valley between May 16 and May 23 in comparison to 38 such cases in the May 8-15 period.
Rajnath Singh ordered stepped up vigil along the international borders, amidst heightened tensions with Pakistan on the western frontier.
A home ministry spokesperson said the directive has been given at a high-level meeting which took stock of the progress of construction of border fencing, roads and outposts along India’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The home minister has directed all officials concerned to maintain constant vigil and security on the borders, the spokesperson said.
At least 11 people were killed and 60 others injured during nine days of intense shelling by Pakistani troops along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir till yesterday.
The shelling and firing stopped yesterday afternoon along the international border.
With regard to the Indo-Pakistan border, the home minister expressed satisfaction that 97 per cent of the sanctioned border fencing work has been completed.
Singh also reviewed implementation of pilot projects on Comprehensive Integrated Border Management Systems (CIBMS) on non- physical barriers.
He also stressed on utilising space technology for strengthening border guarding and policing.
The home minister stressed that coastal security is of utmost importance and appreciated action taken by the state governments and Union Territories for operationalisation of 194 coastal police stations duly equipped with boats and other equipments.
He underlined the need for better cooperation among various agencies engaged in maintaining coastal security.
Singh directed that the next phase of the coastal security scheme should be expedited in consultation with stakeholders like the Navy, Coast Guard, state governments, etc.
He complimented proactive role being played by Central Armed Forces and Navy and Coast Guard and directed that vigil may be maintained on all borders including coastal areas while protecting all legitimate and humane considerations of local population.
Identifying that land acquisition remained an issue, he called for expediting the same especially along the country’s eastern borders.
Expressing satisfaction over the working of six newly established Integrated Check Posts, Singh called for construction of 13 more ICPs along Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Bhutan borders. These Integrated Check Posts will facilitate cross border trade and movement of people.
The meeting was attended by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Special Secretary (Border Management) B R Sharma besides others.