Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting on the situation in Kashmir Valley, which has been rocked by violent protests in the wake of the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani. Back from a visit to four African countries, Modi convened a meeting of Union Ministers and senior officials.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed presentation of the situation prevailing in the Valley which has witnessed escalating protests following the killing of Wani on Friday. Violent clashes between security forces and protestors have so far left 24 dead.
The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar among others.
Yesterday, Parrikar, Jaitley and Doval, who returned a day earlier from Africa where he was accompanying the Prime Minister, had met to discuss the situation. The Ministers were briefed by Chiefs of central security agencies about the steps taken to bring back peace and normalcy in the Valley.
All forces have been asked to ensure security of Amarnath pilgrims and enhance vigil along the border to check fresh attempts of infiltration from across the border. Sources said security forces were asked to ensure judicious use of force against protesting civilians.
Parrikar had told reporters that an overall assessment of security situation in Kashmir has to be done by the Home Ministry and Army was ready to provide any assistance like increasing force levels in any areas required.
Earlier, the Home Minister had reached out to opposition leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Parliamentary leaders of all parties, and discussed the prevailing situation there.
During the telephone conversation with Gandhi and National Conference leader Omar, the Home Minister had discussed with them efforts to bring back peace and normalcy in Kashmir Valley.