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Decision on ceasefire after another security review: Rajnath

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said a decision to extend the Ramadhan ceasefire beyond Eid will be taken after a detailed assessment of the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The security scenario across the state will be reviewed at the highest level and after consulting public representatives a decision about extending the ceasefire would be taken,” Singh said during his visit to the frontier district of Kupwara.

Kupwara town observed a near-complete shutdown against the Home Ministers visit. A protest demonstration was also held soon after Friday congregational prayers.The protesters raised pro-freedom slogans while attempting to march towards the district headquarters. Heavy deployment of government forces prevented the march, triggering clashes as police used tear gas to push the demonstrators back.

Singh is on a 2-day visit to the Jammu and Kashmir, reviewing the security scenario following government of India’s decision to halt anti-militancy operations during the ongoing month of Ramdhan, which began on May 16.

The minister said his outreach to the border people was aimed at making their life better.

“We have decided that five Indian reserve (IR) battalions, besides two Border battalions will be raised and its beneficiary will be the people residing within 0-10 kilometers of (LoC) fence,” Singh told reporters, adding around 5000 youth would benefit by 60 percent reservation in the proposed battalions for the border residents.

Bashir Ahmad, MLA Kupwara, during his meeting with Singh raised the issue of disappearance of 23-year Suhail Aijaz who was pursuing MBBS at All India institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar Odisha since 2016.

He urged the Home Minister to utilise all resources in tracing the missing student who belongs to remote area of Chowkibal, Kupwara.

District officials said five public delegations met the home minister at Kupwara and discussed their demands.

“We are the worst sufferers of hostile conditions between India and Pakistan. We urged Home Minister to initiate dialogue with the neighbouring country and stakeholders of Kashmir issue which will in return pave way for peace” Said liyaqat Khan, who headed a delegation from Karnah.

“We also requested the home minister to ensure that a tunnel is constructed at Sadhna top so that people from the area are connected round the year with the rest of the valley.”

Other delegations also raised their demands including political reservation for Gujjar and Bakerwal community of the state.

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