In the din of Autumn session of JK Assembly, the latest high-profile visit from Delhi to Kashmir for security reasons failed to make it a banner headline. But before one forgets about the event, the maiden visit of Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Mehrishi, was more than what meets the eye.
It came at a time when Indo-Pak frontiers running through Kashmir are tense and security scenario in valley is under continuous check. In this backdrop, the 1955-born IAS officer of 1978 batch (Rajasthan cadre) arrived in valley with a ‘security’ word from MHA.
Mehrishi, who replaced LC Goyal (allegedly forced to take voluntary retirement) this fall, was accompanied by Special Secretary (Internal Security) in Home Ministry Ashok Prasad, DG BSF Devendra Kumar Pathak and other high ranking officials.
After landing at Jammu’s technical airport, Mehrishi flanked by Prasad and Pathak flew to Satowali helipad in RS Pura sector and visited the Abdullian border outpost, where he boarded a bullet-proof vehicle and visited duty points being manned by the BSF. He was briefed about the proposal of bunkers in forward villages along the Indo-Pak border, which had been sent to the Home Ministry.
Later, Mehrishi discussed valley’s security situation with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and top brass of civil and police administration.
Interestingly, Mufti who is reportedly in regular touch with NSA Ajit Doval received a word from the MHA on security situation in the state through Mehrishi.
It is understood that Mehrishi conveyed MHA’s concern to Mufti over “radicalization, repeated infiltration attempts on the borders, security situation in the hinterland” and “steps required” to maintain peace in the state.
Mehrishi who was the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan before becoming Union Home Secretary received a word of enhancement in honorarium of Special Police Officers (SPOs) and Voluntary Home Guards from Mufti. Before his Delhi departure, Mehrishi vowed to take up the demands with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Amid the beef ban row, it seems the Union Home Secretary’s security platter was indeed beefed up!
– Riyaz Ul Khaliq