Centre mulls extension of ceasefire in J&K:

Centre mulls extension of ceasefire in J&K:

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh attend a press conference in Srinagar

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the Centre will soon take a decision on the extension of Ramzan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir after reviewing and assessing the security situation in the state.

“After proper consultation with the public representatives and reviewing the security situation, a decision in connection with the extension of the ceasefire will be taken,” he told reporters in north Kashmir’s frontier Kupwara district.

The reports received so far from the state government and the security agencies regarding the Ramzan ceasefire have been positive, the home minister said. 

Sources said the top security officials in the state told Rajnath on Thursday that the non-initiation of combat operations (NICO) announced by New Delhi last month has by and large been a success. 
“In a presentation to Singh behind closed doors at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, the officials told him that there was 70% success if not 100% in the more than three-week-long halt to the counter-insurgency operations,” they revealed.
“The home minister was satisfied with the prevailing situation, but expressed concern over the rise in militant attacks, asking the heads of security agencies to retaliate if attacked,” they said.
Rajnath arrived in Kupwara in the morning, where he met several delegations. He was accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh.
He also interacted with the locals living near Line of Control (LoC), who submitted the list of demands to the Home Minister and urged him to take concrete steps for their welfare. On the occasion, Rajnath said that five Indian Reserve Police (IRP) battalions will be raised and 60% vacancies will be reserved for the border people. 
Hours before his arrival in the border town, there was a brief exchange of fire between militants and the army in Langate area of Kupwara. However, there was no report of casualty in the incident. The attack took place some 20 km from Kupwara town where the home minister later met the delegations.
In the afternoon, the home minister flew to Jammu where he interacted with the people displaced due to shelling along the border. Reports said Rajnath visited R S Pura Sector along the Indo-Pak International Border in Jammu and took stock of the prevailing security situation in wake of escalated tension due to ceasefire violations.
Later in the evening, the Home Minister flew to New Delhi after concluding his two-day visit to the state.