Security forces in the Kashmir Valley are on high alert ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s all-party meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir on June 24.
This will be PM Modi’s first interaction with all the mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre abrogated the state’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories: J&K and Ladakh.
The security grid in the Valley was reviewed in a core group meeting co-chaired by J&K’s Director General of Police, Lieutenant General and General Officer Commanding of XV Corps, and some gaps were being filled, NDTV reported.
Additionally, a 48-hour alert has been issued in the UT and along the Line of Control, a senior official told NDTV. While there is a ceasefire at the LoC, security forces reportedly “don’t want to take chances”.
The meeting is happening at the highest level and the security forces do not want anyone to derail them, the news channel quoted a senior official as saying.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had reviewed the security situation in J&K.
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of five regional political parties, will attend the all-party meeting called by the prime minister. The PAGD, or ‘Gupkar Alliance’, comprises the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M), the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) and the Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference (JKANC).
As many as 14 leaders from J&K including four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state – Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti – have been invited.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s J&K unit president Ravinder Raina, two senior party leaders – former deputy chief ministers Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta – will also take part in the scheduled meeting.
The meeting is being seen as the first crucial step by the Centre aimed at resuming the political process in J&K and holding assembly elections. J&K has been under central rule since June 2018 when the BJP-PDP coalition government collapsed.
The prime minister is expected to urge leaders at the meeting to cooperate with the Delimitation Commission and set the electoral process moving.
Farooq Abdullah told reporters on June 22 that opposition leaders will put forth their demands of the restoration of J&K’s special status and statehood during the meeting.
Read: Opinion | Restoration of status quo ante in Kashmir will be a retrograde step