SRINAGAR: In what could be yet another historical move, Union Home Minister Amit Shah might airdash to Srinagar to unfurl the Tricolour at Lal Chowk on Independence Day, August 15.
In a closely guarded secret, high-security measures are being ensured for Shah’s Srinagar visit on Thursday.
However, officials at Jammu and Kashmir police headquarters have not yet confirmed Shah’s much-awaited first visit after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, currently monitoring the situation in the Valley, might also be present at Lal Chowk on Independence Day, sources said.
In New Delhi, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said Shah’s visit to the Valley is expected, but exact dates cannot be shared with the media at the moment.
“It’s a security concern. Amid escalating tension between the two countries (India-Pakistan), the Home Minister’s visit cannot be revealed in advance,” an officer told IANS.
The Home Minister usually travels by a Border Security Force aircraft and his itinerary is shared with coordinating government agencies at the last moment, including Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which guards airports in the country. Shah, who also heads BJP as its national President, has a very high threat perception, according to latest intelligence inputs.
For Home Minister Amit Shah and his mentor Prime Minister Narendra Modi, unfurling the national Tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar has been a nostalgic event in their political career.
In 1992, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, accompanied by Modi, had unfurled the Tricolour at Lal Chowk, despite grave threat from various Pakistan-based terror organisations.
Lal Chowk, the main commercial centre in downtown Srinagar, came into significance when India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the national flag here in 1948.