Rajnath Singh says security situation improved in J&K, NC calls for ‘end to civilian killings’

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GR News Desk 

Srinagar/New Delhi

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir said that the security situation in the state has improved and there has been a significant decrease in cases of stone pelting and recruitment of militants. The home minister is visiting the state review the security situation in the valley and along the Line of Control, which has seen a tense condition in the past few days.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Farooq Abdullah led National Conference (NC) on Tuesday carried out a protest march against the Kulgam encounter that took place on Sunday. NC general secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar, provincial president, Nasir Aslam Wani and other senior leaders were present in the protest march. Led by Sagar, the protesters marched from party’s headquarter Nawa-e-Subh here towards Regal Chowk, but the police didn’t allow them to march ahead, thus detaining scores of its activists and workers. Sagar while talking to reporters condemned the civilian killings at Kulgam, saying that the Government of India must put an immediate end to the civilian killings hereby initiating a dialogue process to resolve the Kashmir issue.

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Three militants and six civilians were killed following a search and cordon operation launched by the security forces in Laroo area of South Kashmir. While the militants were killed in the encounter, civilian casualties resulted after an explosive went off when locals gathered at the spot before the forces could complete sanitisation. The home minister announced a Rs 5 lakh compensation for next of kin of the deceased during his visit.

During the day, Singh held review meetings on security preparedness and condition in the state, especially in the valley and along the LoC. He also met with NC leader Omar Abdullah and held discussions. Singh’s visit to the state comes just days after security forces neutralised two intruders along LoC in Rajouri, who appeared to be from Pakistan’s Border Action Team. Along with the security developments, the visit is opportune politically, the BJP just won the urban local body elections in the state which were held after a gap of 13 years.