Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting on Tuesday to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir which is witnessing violent clashes between security forces and protesters in the aftermath of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy Burhan Wani.
Ahead of the meeting, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday chaired a discussion with senior Union Ministers and officials during which it was suggested that security forces make "judicious" use of force and ensure smooth movement of Amarnath pilgrims.
According to official sources, the Prime Minister, who will return from a four-nation tour of Africa early on Monday, will be given a detailed presentation on the prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley arising out of escalating protests following the killing of Wani on Friday.
As many as 23 people have lost their lives during the clashes. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll at 31.
Monday’s meeting was convened to discuss the tense situation in Jammu and Kashmir was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and NSA Ajit Doval, who returned a day earlier.
Chiefs of central security agencies briefed the Ministers about the steps taken to bring back peace and normalcy in the Valley.
All forces were asked to ensure security of Amarnath pilgrims and enhance vigil along the border to check fresh attempts of infiltration from across the border.
Sources said security forces were asked to ensure judicious use of force against protesting civilians.
Besides, stone pelters, who are mostly teenagers, have to be dissuaded by parents from indulging in stone pelting.
Parrikar told reporters that an overall assessment of security situation in Kashmir has to be done by the Home Ministry and Army was ready to provide any assistance like increasing force levels in any areas required.
The meeting was told that situation in Kashmir Valley was better today and steps are being taken to improve further tomorrow, sources said.
Earlier, the Home Minister reached out to opposition leaders including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Parliamentary leaders of all parties, and discussed the prevailing situation there.
During the telephonic conversation with Gandhi and National Conference leader Omar, the Home Minister discussed with them efforts to bring back peace and normalcy in Kashmir Valley.