Chidambaram to visit Kashmir for security review


New Delhi : Home Minister P. Chidambaram will visit Jammu and Kashmir Thursday to review the security scenario in the state in the wake of the recent unrest in the valley over the alleged rape and murder of two women.

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This will be the home minister’s first visit to the troubled state after the formation of the new central government.

Chidambaram will meet, among others, Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during his two-day tour, an official statement said here. He will also interact with state ministers.

Chidambaram will attend a meeting of the leadership of the Unified Command – the highest security management body in the state headed by the chief minister.

Officers of the Indian Army, intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces and top functionaries of the Jammu and Kashmir government will brief the home minister about the internal security in the state.

The Kashmir Valley simmered for eight days after two women were found dead May 30 near a stream close to their home in south Kashmir’s Shopian town.

There have been allegations that the women – Neelofar Jan, 22, and her kin Asiya Jan, 17, – were gangraped and murdered by the security forces.

A forensic report has confirmed the women were raped, while police have also lodged a rape and murder case against unknown criminals.

Violent protests have rocked the entire valley since the incident, triggering a fresh wave of unrest at a time when the tourist season had started to pick up. One person has been killed and over 130 people have been injured in the protests so far. The valley also observed a continuous shutdown for eight days and normalcy returned only Tuesday.

The home minister will also discuss with the state government issues relating to the development of Jammu and Kashmir.