Union home minister Amit Shah stressed on using modern technology to strengthen the local intelligence network, locating the tunnels used by terrorists and dealing with the drone intrusions

New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday directed the army, paramilitary forces and the intelligence agencies to replicate the successes achieved in Kashmir Valley against terrorism in the Jammu region as well by working in “mission mode” and a “coordinated manner”.

The home minister stressed on using modern technology to strengthen the local intelligence network, locating the tunnels used by terrorists and dealing with the drone intrusions.

The directions were given at a high-level meeting chaired by Shah at North Block on Sunday to review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of four terror attacks last week and preparedness for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.

The five-hour long meeting was attended by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, Army chief General Manoj Pande, Army chief-designate Lt. General Upendra Dwivedi, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) Tapan Deka, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) director general Anish Dayal Singh, Border Security Force (BSF) director general Nitin Agarwal, J&K police chief R R Swain and other top security officials.

“Union home minister directed security agencies to replicate the successes achieved in Kashmir valley through area domination plan and zero terror plan in Jammu division. He asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is committed to set an example by cracking down on terrorists through innovative means. The home minister directed all security agencies to work in a mission mode and ensure quick response in a coordinated manner,” a statement issued by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said.

On identifying vulnerable areas and dealing with the latest terror threat, Shah “emphasised on seamless coordination amongst the security agencies, identifying vulnerable areas and addressing the security concerns of such areas”, it added.

He further asked the forces to “use modern technology to strengthen local secret network, locate the tunnels (used by terrorists who enter India) and deal with drone intrusions”.

While assuring the Centre will leave no stone unturned in rooting out terrorism, Shah said “the fight against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is in its decisive phase”.

“Recent incidents show that terrorism has been forced to shrink from highly organised acts of terrorist violence to a mere proxy war. We are determined to root it out as well,” MHA added, quoting Shah.

A senior counter-terrorism official, who didn’t want to be named, said after Shah’s meeting “counter-terrorism operations will intensify in coming days, to trace absconding foreign terrorists and their local supporters”.

Intelligence agencies have estimated that 70-80 foreign fighters have infiltrated from across the border in the last few months.

Along with review of terror incidents in Jammu, Shah also discussed the preparations for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage, which is scheduled to begin on June 29, at the meeting.

Currently, 70 battalions (approximately 70,000 personnel) of central paramilitary forces are deployed in J&K. Officials who didn’t want to be named said the home minister has asked to make adequate security arrangements on the entire Yatra route and provide smooth arrangements from the airport and railway station to the yatra base camp.

Although meetings are taking place to finalise the deployment, it is expected that like previous year, around 450-500 additional companies of central forces may be sent exclusively for securing Amarnath Yatra this year as well.

Terrorists struck at four places in Reasi, Kathua and Doda districts of Jammu and Kashmir within four days last week, killing nine pilgrims and a CRPF Jawan and leaving seven security personnel and several others injured.

Two suspected Pakistani terrorists were also killed in an encounter with security forces in Kathua district and a huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from them.

(With Agency Inputs)