Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived here on Saturday for his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since Article 370 was revoked in August 2019 and drove straight to meet the family of a police officer killed by terrorists. He later chaired a meeting to review the security situation in the Valley.
The home minister, who is here on a three-day visit, was received at the technical airport here by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and advisor Farooq Khan.
It was a day of heavy rain and snow in several parts of the Valley. If the weather holds, he will visit Jammu on Sunday to address a public rally and return to Srinagar, officials said.
Number one on his agenda was meeting the family of Jammu and Kashmir Police Inspector Parvaiz Ahmad who was shot dead by terrorists on June 22 near his home in Nowgam on the outskirts of the city while he was returning after offering evening prayers at a mosque.
Shah offered his condolences to the family and handed over documents of appointment to a government job to Ahmad’s widow, Fatima Akhtar, on compassionate grounds, a home ministry official said.
“Today visited the family of martyr Parvaiz Ahmad Dar and paid tributes to him. I and the nation are proud of his bravery. Jammu and Kashmir Police is making all efforts to realise the vision of PM Modi for a new JK,” Shah said in a tweet later.
After going to Nowgam, Shah reviewed the security situation and steps taken to combat terrorism in Kashmir Valley, particularly following the targeted killings of civilians, mostly non-local labourers and minorities.
During the meeting, held at the Raj Bhavan here, the home minister was briefed on steps taken to eliminate terrorism from the union territory and counter-infiltration measures by the security forces, officials said.
The meeting was attended by top civil administration officials, including the lieutenant governor and senior security officials from the Army, CRPF, police and other agencies, they said.
Security was beefed up across Kashmir ahead of Shah’s visit that comes in the wake of the spate of civilian attacks. Additional forces have been deployed, particularly in the city, officials said.
Fifty companies of additional paramilitary forces, about 5,000 troopers, are being inducted into the Valley as a precautionary measure.
Bunkers manned by paramilitary CRPF have come up in several areas of the city as well in other parts of Kashmir Valley, the officials said.
In 2019, too, when he last visited the Valley, Shah had met family of a slain police officer.