Kashmir decision suspected as Union Cabinet set to meet

A security person stands guard as students board a special train arranged by the Telugu states officials to bring them back from Jammu to Hyderabad (PTI Photo)

The Union Cabinet is scheduled to have an out-of-turn meeting on Monday morning amidst speculations that the BJP-led NDA government may announce a big decision on Kashmir.

A day before the Cabinet meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Adviser Ajith Doval, Intelligence Bureau Chief Arvind Kumar and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba were in a huddle inside the Parliament building on Sunday presumably to discuss the security scenario in Kashmir but officials didn't disclose anything on the meeting's outcome.

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To be chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet meeting will precede the discussions at the Parliament where the Kashmir issues are likely to figure.

Since last week, the northern state is in a complete flux with the administration cutting short the Amarnath yatra by 15 days and asking the pilgrims as well as common tourists to leave the valley at the earliest.

Outstation students at the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, too have been told to move out while local authorities asked Srinagar hotels to impress upon their guests to leave the Kashmir capital by Monday.

All airlines have been asked not to charge the distressed tourists for cancellation and fresh booking of tickets. Also most of the airlines operate additional flights.

Notwithstanding the large scale panic, anxiety and speculations created by such decisions and further compounded by the deployment of additional troops in the valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah maintained a stoic silence.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, however, denied the possibility of any policy shift on Kashmir issue and asked people not to panic.

But silence from the Modi-Shah duo has fueled all sorts of speculations like a possible trifurcation of the state, doing away with northern state's special status and a limited scale conflict with Pakistan.

The official reason for troop enhancement in Kashmir valley was specific intelligence inputs on a large scale terror attack on Amarnath yatris or tourists.

With the assembly election due in Jammu and Kashmir, and snowfall three months away, the disputed Line of Control too was heated up with Pakistan trying to push infiltrators and militants while Indian security agencies trying to thwart such attempts.

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