Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today met Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the law and order situation in the state, especially security to Amarnath pilgrims, even as she blamed ‘external forces’ for creating trouble in the state.
During the meeting that lasted nearly an hour, the CM apprised the Home Minister about the steps taken to maintain peace in the Kashmir. Officials said that steps taken by the state government to ensure the security of Amarnath pilgrims were also discussed between the two leaders.
"Kashmir issue is not a law and order problem. It is happening because of external forces. The ongoing fight is a handiwork of external forces and now unfortunately China is also trying to meddle into it," Mehbooba told reporters emerging from the meeting.
Earlier this week, China, the all-weather ally of Pakistan, had said that it was ‘willing to play a constructive role in improving relations between India and Pakistan’. Terming India and Pakistan important South Asian countries, Beijing had noted that the ‘situation in Kashmir has attracted the attention of the international community’.
On Amarnath Yatra attack, the CM said that Monday’s killing of seven pilgrims by militants was designed to create communal tension.
"The (Amarnath Yatra) attack was designed to create communal tension in the country. But I am grateful that the entire country, political parties and the central government especially the Home Minister helped us in overcoming the tragedy," she said.
Security agencies engaged in anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir have been told to implement security plans with full vigour, officials said. So far, more than 1.86 lakh pilgrims have visited the high altitude Himalayan shrine. As many as 21,000 paramilitary personnel in addition to state police forces and two battalions of Army have been deployed for security of the pilgrimage routes. The number of paramilitary personnel deployed this year is 9,500 more than last year.
Four districts of the state -- Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag -- have been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016. The unrest has resumed since the April 9 bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.
"I am happy that the President in his order has reiterated that special status granted to the state would not be diluted.