Army chief reviews security situation in Kashmir

Army chief reviews security situation in Kashmir

A day after militant attacks in the Valley claimed the lives of 21 people, including 11 security personnel, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on Saturday morning arrived here to review the overall security situation in the state.

General Suhag also paid tributes to the slain security force personnel by laying wreaths on their coffins during a sombre ceremony at Badamibagh Cantonment here. “The attack on Uri camp in Baramulla was a desperate attempt by militants to disrupt the democratic process in the state. It appears the attack was to disrupt the third phase of elections,” the Army chief told reporters here. “I assure the nation that these elements will not be allowed to succeed in disrupting the democratic process,” he asserted.

Speaking over the two recent operations in which 12 militants were killed, the Army chief said: “This was an attempt by inimical elements to disrupt the remaining phases of the polls as they were unnerved by the high voter turnout in the first two phases.”

While paying tributes to the slain soldiers, which included a Lt Colonel, he said, “I salute the brave soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty. Their sacrifice will not go waste. In fact, it will inspire each of us.”

The Army chief said the peaceful atmosphere of the polls in the first two phases has been due to the efforts put in by all the security forces. A defence spokesperson said General Suhag was briefed at 15-Corps headquarters about existing counter-insurgency and counter-infiltration measures on his arrival.

“He took stock of the state of security in the Valley in light of the ongoing elections. The Army chief commended their level of commitment and preparation, which has ensured that the mala fide intentions of our adversaries have not been able to dent the spirit of the population,” he said.

In a deadly attack, heavily-armed militants had stormed an Army camp in the border town of Uri, killing eight army men and three policemen on Friday. Six militants were also killed in the gun battle. In the other attacks—all within 12 hours of the Uri strike—two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in an encounter in Soura as they tried to sneak into Srinagar while gunmen hurled a grenade at a bus stop in Tral in south Kashmir. The incident claimed the lives of two civilians and injured five.

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