Srinagar: LG Manoj Sinha met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi for a security review meeting on Sunday, India Today reported. The interaction came less than 24 hours after Lieutenant Governor (LG) Sinha’s meeting with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.
Senior officials part of the meeting on Sunday include outgoing J&K chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, his successor Arun Mehta, Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Arvind Kumar, J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh and ADG, J&K Police CID.
While the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is yet to issue a statement in this regard, security arrangements for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra are believed to be one of the key agendas of these meetings. The central government is yet to decide whether the Yatra will be carried out as per schedule.
The Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to take place for 56 days between June 28 and August 22. The Shri AmarnathJi Shrine Board (SASB) had ordered the suspension of registration for the Yatra in light of the surge in Covid-19 cases.
In 2019, the Yatra was cut short by about 15 days before the central government’s August 5 decision.
Sources were quoted as saying by India Today that assembly polls in the UT, if they are allowed to take place, will be announced only after the delimitation exercise is complete. According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the number of seats in the J&K Assembly is set to increase from 107 to 114 with reservations for SCs/STs due to delimitation.
Set up in March 2020, the Delimitation Commission has been granted a year-long extension to redraw the constituency size and map for the new Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir The Delimitation Commission, whose term was to end by March 6, had sought the extension citing delays owing to Covid-19.
Sources said statehood may not be imminent but could be on the table. An official said on condition of anonymity, “The Centre has to decide whether it [delimitation] can be done before or after the elections.”
In the last week of May, National Conference (NC) passed two resolutions during a key meeting of its top leaders. The first resolution was in support of restoration of Articles 370 and 35-A, while the second resolution was to participate in the delimitation exercise, which the NC had earlier boycotted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said on a number of occasions that J&K’s statehood will be restored at an “appropriate time”. During the winter session of Parliament, he had assured MPs that statehood would be restored once “development” in the UT was put back on track.
A top official in the security grid, on condition of anonymity, said, “Despite bringing in historic change, nothing much seems to have changed on the ground. People are not happy and systematic corruption continues to thrive.”