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Army Vice Chief reviews security in J-K
February 10, 2018
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SRINAGAR: Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Vice Chief of Army Lt. Gen. Sarath Chand on Friday visited Jammu and Kashmir and reviewed security along the borders and in the hinterland.

This comes at a time a spurt has been registered in ceasefire violations.

Both of them also visited the Badami Bagh Cantonment and were briefed by Lt. Gen. AK Bhatt, Chinar Corps Commander.

The Defence Secretary, who arrived here on Friday, visited forward areas on the Line of Control (LoC) and reviewed security preparedness in the hinterland, an official statement said here.

“The Defence Secretary visited the forward areas along the LoC where he was briefed on the prevailing security situation and also interacted with the commanders and troops on ground.” Mitra was also briefed on the close coordination among all the government agencies in maintaining peace in the region, it said.

“He also visited Badami Bagh Cantonment where he was briefed by Lt. Gen. Bhatt about the Counter Infiltration and Counter Terrorism Grids functional in the Valley,” it said, adding that Mitra “appreciated the various measures instituted to strengthen the security posture and the good job being done by all the security forces”.

The Vice Chief of Army meanwhile reviewed the prevailing security situation and visited the Formations and Units in North Kashmir.

An official statement said Lt. Gen. Chand was briefed by the commanders on the ground as regards the operational preparedness as well as the measures taken to meet the security and weather related challenges. He also interacted with the troops and emphasised on the need for undertaking relentless intelligence-based operations to sustain pressure on the terrorist groups and maintain a high degree of vigil along the LoC to eliminate any infiltration bid.

A total of 192 ceasefire violations were reported till Jan.29, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday in a written reply.

In 2017, the ceasefire was violated 860 times compared to 228 in 2016 and 152 in 2015.

Normal life was affected across the Kashmir Valley on Friday during a shutdown called by separatists to mark the fifth anniversary of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Markets, public transport and businesses remained shut in Srinagar and all other major towns in the Valley. Few private vehicles plied on the roads.

Due to non-availability of public transport, attendance in banks and government offices was thin.

The separatists called for a shutdown to denounce Afzal Guru’ s hanging in Delhi’s Tihar Jail and to reiterate the demand for the return of his mortal remains to the family.

Afzal was hanged on Feb.9, 2013 for his role in the 2001 Parliament attack. He was buried inside the jail premises.

Police said they imposed restrictions in old city areas of Srinagar, the uptown area of Maisuma and in some north and south Kashmir areas.

Senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq continue to remain under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in the Central Jail.

The Pakistan-based United Jihad Council headed by Syed Sallauddin backed the protest call.

Police and paramilitary personnel in riot gear were deployed in all areas.

Train services between north Kashmir’s Baramulla town and Bannihal town in the Jammu region were suspended as a precaution.

A woman was killed and three soldiers were injured in Pakistani firing on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, police said on Friday.

Police said a 47-year-old woman was killed in Pakistani shelling and firing in Mendhar sector on Thursday.

“Indian positions retaliated strongly and effectively. The injured soldiers have been identified as Havildars Lakhvinder Singh and Balbir Singh and Lance Naik Charanjeet Singh,” a police officer said.

Two of the soldiers were flown to the Army Hospital in Udhampur.

Separately, cold wave conditions continued in the Kashmir Valley and the Ladakh region on Friday as minimum temperatures dropped several notches below the freezing point.

The Met department has forecast cold, dry weather in Jammu and Kashmir till Saturday although some rain and snow was expected Feb.11 onwards.

The minimum temperature was minus 3.5 in Srinagar, while it was minus 5.8 and minus 5.5 in Pahalgam and Gulmarg, respectively.

Kargil was the coldest town at minus 14.5 while Leh recorded minus 11.2 degrees Celsius.

Jammu city recorded 5.4, Katra 5.8, Batote 1.7, Banihal minus 1.2, Bhaderwah minus 0.2 and Udhampur 1.2 degrees Celsius.

Indo-Asian News Service

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