Civilian vehicles will be stopped during convoy movement: Rajnath

Union home minister Rajnath Singh today said civilian vehicles would be stopped during movement of security forces’ convoys on highways and critical road junctions.
Civilian vehicles will be stopped during convoy movement: Rajnath
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Union home minister Rajnath Singh today said civilian vehicles would be stopped during movement of security forces' convoys on highways and critical road junctions.

"From now onwards, during convoy movement civilian vehicles would be stopped till forces' cavalcades pass off smoothly. Here people have to bear with us as this will cause a bit of inconvenience to them and I regret that," Singh told media men here after chairing a high-level security meet.

A source said that union home secretary Rajiv Gauba, Director General CRPF R Bhatnagar, top police and army officers were present in the meeting. "In the meeting the home minister sought details about the Lethpora attack and he was briefed about the sequence of the events that unfolded on the highway on Thursday that left 49 CRPF men dead and dozens injured," the source said.

"It was decided that no civilian vehicle will be allowed to move till last vehicle of the forces' cavalcade passes the road," the source said.

A security official present in the meeting said that the option to use special air-sorties to ferry forces personnel was also discussed. "To this, the home minister said he will consider the option and whatever would be the in the interest of forces, will be done," the officer said, wishing not to be named.

"The convoy movement will take place at a particular time only after thorough road clearance and security cover," the official said.

A source said that CRPF urged the union home minister for issuing more bullet proof vehicles and vehicles having IED-detection facility.

Rajnath offered floral tributes to the slain CRPF men at RTC Humhama and also shouldered the coffin of a CRPF man as a mark of respect.

'Morale of forces high'

The morale of security forces operating in Kashmir is "high" despite the Pulwama attack, union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday, asserting that New Delhi would succeed in its fight against militancy.

"We will not tolerate militancy and will eradicate it as it has become intolerable. Attacks like Pulwama deserve a befitting response," he said addressing a press conference at old airport here before flying back to New Delhi.

Singh along with union home secretary Rajiv Gauba arrived in Srinagar to pay tributes to more than 40 CRPF men killed in the deadliest militant attack in Lethpora area along the Srinagar-Jammu highway on Thursday.

"In New Delhi's fight against militancy, people of entire India are with the present dispensation at the Centre," the home minister said.

"I am happy that people of Jammu and Kashmir are also with us in this fight and won't allow the conspiracies hatched across the Line of Control to succeed."

The union home minister said there are "some elements" in Kashmir who are "on the payroll of ISI and Pakistan".

"I have directed the heads of security agencies to review the security of such elements," he said, without naming anyone.

"We have given a free hand to our forces to deal with militancy," he said.

Rajnath said those behind militancy in Kashmir have roots across the LoC. "They are playing with the future of the people of J&K, especially its youth. We will not allow them to succeed in their mission. Not only India, but Islamic countries across the globe have stood against terrorism".

A visibly upset Singh said he was in Srinagar to pay tributes to the CRPF men killed in the attack.

To a query whether Lethpora attack was a security lapse, Singh said: "All angles are being investigated, let the probe finish first."

About incidents of arson in Jammu, the union home minister said he has directed the governor Satya Pal Malik and the state administration to deal sternly with the people trying to "disrupt peace and damage communal fabric" in the state. "Whosoever will try to disrupt peace and indulge in arson will be dealt with sternly," he said.

"Whenever incidents like Lethpora attack take place, some elements try to stoke communal violence. I urge the people of India, irrespective of their religion, caste and creed, to not get swayed and protect the communal fabric at this juncture," Singh said.

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