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Last Updated : Jun 14, 2018 11:57 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Rajnath Singh to take decision on extending Ramzan ceasefire today

Mehbooba Mufti had earlier proposed that the Centre should consider a unilateral ceasefire in the state starting from Ramzan in mid-May until completion of the Amarnath Yatra in August

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will take the final call on extension of unilateral ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan in Jammu and Kashmir today.

The decision on whether or not to extend ‘Ramzan ceasefire’ until Amarnath Yatra, which is scheduled to begin on June 28, will be taken by the Centre today in a security meeting to be held at the Ministry of Home Affairs. Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police SP Vaid has also been asked to report in New Delhi. The meeting will also take into consideration the slew of measures that need to be taken up ahead of the Amarnath Yatra. Last year, a militant attack on a bus carrying pilgrims had killed eight people.

Rajnath had visited the Valley for two days last week to take stock of the situation.

It has also been reported that the number of youths joining militant organisations has fallen after suspension of ceasefire. According to a report in The Times of India, 13 youths from Kashmir joined militancy after the announcement of Ramzan ceasefire as against 71 youths before  May 15. Out of the 13, two youths returned home, bringing down the effective figure to 11.

The report also points out that fewer incidences of violence were reported during Ramzan. In addition, suspension of cordon-and-search operations saw a significant decline in killings of security forces as well as civilians. Mob attacks involving stone-pelting have also reduced. However, grenade attacks have reportedly seen a rise during Ramzan.

The overall situation seems to be under control. A police officer said schools and colleges have been functioning normally during the suspension of ceasefire and that politicians have visited their constituencies without being heckled or threatened.

However, a report in The Indian Express has said a top leader of the BJP suggested that Ramzan ceasefire will end on Eid because “the corridors need to be sanitized” before the Amarnath Yatra begins. BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav was also in Srinagar on Tuesday and met BJP and PDP leaders, including Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

He hinted at the Ramzan ceasefire not being extended until the Amarnath Yatra. Madhav was quoted by ANI as saying, “Ramzan is the holy month for Muslims so the Indian government had decided to announce suspension of operations during this period as a goodwill gesture. We also wanted that the same be reciprocated but there was no change in the actions of separatists and terrorists.”

BJP sources have reportedly indicated that they did not see “encouraging signs” on ground and that it will be “difficult to oblige the demand for extension of halting operations”.
First Published on Jun 14, 2018 11:56 am
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