UHQ To Review Security Today

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Srinagar, Sept 30: The United Command is meeting here on Monday with the chief minister, Omar Abdullah, in chair, to review the overall security situation in the state in the backdrop of recent killings of elected village heads and the spate of resignations by sarpanches and panches in the wake of their enhanced threat perception.

The chief secretary, Madhav Lal; the principal secretary, Home, B R Sharma; the director-general of police, Ashok Prasad; the GOC, 15 Corps, Lt Gen Om Prakash;
heads of central paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies are expected to attend the meeting, sources said.

The main issue to come up for discussion would be the killing of sarpanches and panches and the spate of their resignations due to threat. Half a dozen of them have been shot dead by unidentified gunmen over the recent times triggering resignations among the elected village functionaries. Steps to instill a sense of security would be considered at the meeting, they said.

It may be recalled the chief minister had said he would be convening a meeting of the United Command to discuss the issue and to discuss the measures to be taken to restore the confidence of village heads. The ruling National Conference and opposition Peoples Democratic Party had traded charges over the issue with the Congress smelling other rats than militant involvement in the killings.

At a press conference the chief minister had even dared militants to attack him instead of killing soft targets. Joining the issue, senior PDP leader and former deputy chief minister, Muzaffar Husain Baig, had said nothing could be conclusively said about the alleged involvement of militants in the killings. However, a few days later, Baig had told a press conference that the needle of suspicion allegedly pointed towards the involvement of the ruling National Conference.

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