Operation All-Out@2 in Kashmir set to get tougher

With the BJP pulling out from the Mehbooba Mufti-led government in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, Operation All-Out@2 is set to begin with a renewed thrust to eliminate Kashmiri militants and destroy their networks.

Moments after the BJP withdrew support, the union home minister Rajnath Singh held an hour-long meeting on Tuesday afternoon at his residence to take stock of the latest security situation in the state. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, union home secretary Rajiv Gauba and Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain attended the meeting. Sources said a decision was taken to wait for the J&K Governor NN Vohra’s report on the state’s security situation.

On Wednesday, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will visit the residence of Aurangzeb in Poonch, the soldier who was abducted in Pulwama while on his way home for Eid celebrations and later shot dead by terrorists. She will also meet top officials in the state handling security duties.

That the crackdown has already begun became clear with a top security officer whose mandate includes Kashmir operations saying, “As soon as the Ramzan cease-fire ended, we already undertook two operations in Bijbehara and in Pampore. Even today, there was an operation in Traal, so Operation All-Out is definitely on now.”

The centre had turned down Mehbooba Mufti’s appeal to hold talks with the Hurriyat leaders. The army was also reportedly against the unilateral ceasefire, which was declared under pressure from the PDP, sources said.

Asked if Cordon and Search Operations (CASO) will also be kick-started, the officer said, “Operation All-Out was never called off completely. All operations like CASO are dependent on the information received and we will react accordingly.”

It is learnt that with ideological and  differences now gone, the security forces will be given a free hand if the state comes under Governor's rule.

BJP senior leader Ram Madhav said, “In order to bring control over the situation prevailing in the state, we have decided that the reins of power in the state be handed over to the governor.”