Government ends ceasefire in Kashmir

Days after journalist Shujaat Bukhari was gunned down and Indian Army soldier Aurangzeb was abducted and killed by militants in Kashmir, the Union home ministry called off the suspension of operations by security forces.

In a statement, the ministry said: “The government of India has decided not to extend the suspension of operations in Jammu and Kashmir announced in the beginning of Ramzan. Operations against terrorists will resume.”

The ministry also said the government commended the “security forces for having shown exemplary restraint during Ramazan despite grave provocations”. “It is important for all those who have interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the youth in mind, to isolate the terrorists and work towards bringing back misguided youth to the right path. On the other hand, terrorists have indulged in wanton killing of innocent civilians and attacks on security forces.”

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union home minister Rajnath Singh, national security adviser Ajit Doval and Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat on Friday.

According to senior officials familiar with the developments, the recent events of violence in Kashmir had prompted the government to suspend the “ceasefire”, which was part of a peace initiative in the valley.

Senior security force officials welcomed the move. The Indian Army is expected to resume search and destroy operations, and cordon and search operations.

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