Security forces are free to carry out operations against terrorists if there are attacks during Ramadan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday, declaring that security operations could be resumed at any point if any terror activity takes place.
Mr Singh cited the recent encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian to make his point in which five Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists including an assistant professor at the Kashmir University were killed. A top Hizbul commander Saddam Padder, once considered close to terrorist Burhan Wani, was also eliminated in this operation.
The Home Minister pointed that centre’s decision not to proactively carry out operations during Ramadan was different from a unilateral ceasefire.
The minister said it had been clearly stipulated that the security forces would resume operation if any terror activity takes place. “We haven’t tied hands of our security forces,” he said.
The centre had announced the cessation of combat operations as the truce is officially called, about a fortnight back on the request of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti despite opposition from the state BJP unit including Union Minister Jitendra Singh.
Mr Singh had then said that the decision was taken to help peace-loving Muslims observe Ramadan in a peaceful environment.
A review by the Home Ministry at the end of the first week, however, had indicated that the initiative hadn’t helped reduce civilian casualties and injuries but appeared to have had a calming effect on statistics of stone throwing.
The decline in incidents of mob violence, however, was also being attributed to fewer security operations.