While National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held a top-level security meet on Kashmir on Thursday, Additional Secretary Home Gyanesh Kumar accompanied by intelligence officials on Friday held a meeting with state Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here. Both these meetings assume significance, as the Election Commission has said that it is mulling to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after the conclusion of the Amarnath Yatra.
Reports said that a high-level Central team, headed by Gyanesh Kumar, held a series of meetings with state police, intelligence officers and the state administration; however, the contours of the meeting were not immediately known. However, a senior state official who attended one of the meetings on Friday told this reporter that the meeting was held regarding security arrangements being made for the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage from 1 July. An official spokesman said that Gyanesh Kumar met the Governor and informed him about his meetings with state police and administrative officials.
J&K is currently under Governor’s Rule. Recently, an EC team which came to the state was told by state officials that there was still a huge threat perception prevailing in Kashmir, especially in the southern parts.
Media reports have already said that on Thursday, Ajit Doval discussed both Assembly elections and Amarnath Yatra. Vijay Kumar, advisor to the state Governor, along with state Chief Secretary and state police chief participated in the meeting. Recently, on the instructions of Union Ministry of Home Affairs, state police had released the list of ten most wanted terrorists in the state. Even during the month of Ramzan, 25 terrorists were killed by forces in various operations.
The National Conference, PDP and Congress have been demanding early polls in the state and have been cautioning the Centre about fiddling with controversial issues like Article 370, 35A and trifurcation of J&K. The state BJP leadership has been pressing for polls as the vote share of the party has gone up in the state during the recent parliamentary polls. BJP is confident that if the polls are held after the Amarnath Yatra, there would be a Hindu Chief Minister for the first time in J&K.