Ramzan Ceasefire Ends Tomorrow, Govt Says No Decision on Extension Yet
A day after the assassination of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar, minister of state for Home Hansraj Ahir said that the decision to extend the Ramzan ceasefire or resume anti-terror operations in the valley has not been taken yet.
A renowned editor and journalist, Bukhari, was mercilessly killed by three to four gunmen, pumping rain of bullets at him and his two security guards. (Image: News18)
Kolkata: A day after the assassination of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar, minister of state for Home Hansraj Ahir said that the decision to extend the Ramzan ceasefire or resume anti-terror operations in the valley has not been taken yet.
“People in Kashmir welcomed central government’s decision to suspend operations. We got a good response after the suspension of operations in Jammu and Kashmir (during Ramzan). Whatever be the next step, it will be based on their (Kashmiris) sentiments/betterment,” he said.
The killing of Bukhari is likely to weigh significantly in the decision. Jammu and Kashmir police has described the murder as a terror attack and taken one suspect into custody. However, it is not yet clear which terror outfit was behind the murderous attack.
On May 16, the home ministry announced the cessation of anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan. It was also clarified that the security forces will strike back, if they came under attack or in case of any terror activities. Saturday is the last date of the ceasefire and the government is yet to come clear on its extension.
Ahir assured that the government would not spare the killers of Bukhari. “We condemn the incident and stern action will be taken against the killers. Kashmir is a big issue for us and our government, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do whatever it takes to ensure peace in the Kashmir Valley. It is very unfortunate that Pakistan continuously interferes in Kashmir’s affairs.”
In the context of arrests of several minors and youths in the recent past with regard to clashes with security forces, he said, “The government is working on withdrawal of cases registered against such people, including first-time offenders. Hope this will spread the message of peace in Kashmir.”
In February 2018, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had approved withdrawal of cases registered against nearly 9,730 people involved in stone-pelting incidents between 2008 and 2017.
Centre’s decision to end security operations (last month) in the valley came after a request from Mehbooba Mufti considering Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra. A similar decision was taken in 2002 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.
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