Sitharaman reviews security situation in Kashmir

Sitharaman reviews security situation in Kashmir

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat interacts with troops of the 28 Inf Div on their visit to the Balbir forward post in Keran sector, J & K on Sunday, Sept 2, 2018. (Defence Minister Twitter via PTI)

Amid a spike in violence, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday reviewed the security situation in Kashmir during a visit to the Valley and also visited forward posts in northern Kupwara district.

The defence minister, accompanied by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, visited the forward areas in Kupwara where she was briefed by the commanders on the ground on the operational preparedness and counter-infiltration grid, defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said.

Sitharaman interacted with the troops of 28-Infantry Division at Balbir Post and she lauded their round-the-clock vigil along the Line of Control (LoC) and professionalism.

“Sitharaman also exhorted them to remain alert for any eventuality to defeat nefarious designs of hostile forces,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier on her arrival in Srinagar, the minister was received by Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, Northern Army Commander and Lieutenant General A K Bhatt, Chinar Corps Commander.

The defence minister also discussed several important issues concerning the effective management of internal and external security, particularly in the context of increasing attempts at infiltration and the ongoing anti-terrorist operations with newly appointed J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

The governor and defence minister had detailed discussions on the Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections which will be held between October and December this year, the crucial need for strengthening and the maintenance of vital road networks and strategic connectivity in J&K, particularly in the Ladakh region, he said.

Sitharaman and General Rawat’s visit came at a time when indigenous militant outfit, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, has been pushed to the forefront of action by handlers across the LoC to orchestrate unrest in the Valley by targeting families of Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel.

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