Kashmir Situation Reviewed at High Level Meet in Delhi

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New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday in the wake of militants killing seven civilians in the last five days, officials said.

During the hour-long meeting, the home minister was given a presentation on the overall security situation in the Union Territory and the border areas by top officials.

He was briefed about the latest modus operandi of the militants in carrying out attacks on soft targets and the steps taken to tighten the security arrangements, an official said.

Shah is believed to have directed the officials to ensure that those involved in the killings are nabbed and to check further occurrence of such incidents.

Later, Director of Intelligence Bureau Arvind Kumar held a separate meeting, which was also attended by top officials of Jammu and Kashmir.

A female principal and a teacher were shot dead at point-blank range inside a government school in Srinagar on Thursday, taking the number of civilians killed by militants in the Kashmir valley to seven in the last five days.

Of the seven, four were from minority communities and six of the deaths were reported from Srinagar.

Supinder Kaur, the principal of the Government Boys Higher Secondary School at Eidgah in Srinagar, and Deepak Chand were gunned down at around 11.15 am on the school premises.

There were no students in the school.

Makhan Lal Bindroo, a prominent Kashmiri Pandit and the owner of Srinagar's most famous pharmacy, was shot dead at his shop on Tuesday.

A "chaat" vendor, Virendra Paswan from Bihar, and another civilian, Mohammad Shafi Lone, were also killed on Tuesday in Srinagar and Bandipora respectively.

On Saturday, militants shot dead Majid Ahmad Gojri in Srinagar and Mohammad Shafi Dar at Batamaloo.

According to official statistics, a total of 28 civilians have so far been killed by militants in 2021.

Of the 28 civilians killed, five belonged to local Hindu or Sikh communities while two were non-local Hindu labourers.

Officials said due to the killings of a large numbers of militants of all outfits, especially their leadership, and the destruction of their support systems, the Pakistan-based handlers of the militants have got frustrated and changed their strategy. They have started targeting unarmed policemen, politicians and innocent civilians from minority communities, including women.

In all such cases, the militants used pistols, which they can carry easily, the officials said.

Most of these crimes are committed by newly-recruited militants or those who are about to join “terrorist ranks”, they added.

According to official data, 97 attacks have so far been reported in Jammu and Kashmir this year -- 71 on security forces and 26 on civilians.

In 2020, a total of 105 such attacks were reported -- 80 on security forces and 25 on civilians.


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