Monday, Dec 22, 2014

A day after ceasefire violation, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in Srinagar for security review

Jaitley will be in J&K for two days, his first trip to the state after being given charge of the defence portfolio. Jaitley will be in J&K for two days, his first trip to the state after being given charge of the defence portfolio.
By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: June 14, 2014 9:22 am | Updated: June 14, 2014 12:36 pm

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday began his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir during which he will review the security situation with the state government and senior military officials.

Jaitley will be in J&K for two days, his first trip to the state after being given charge of the defence portfolio.

Accompanied by Army chief General Bikram Singh, Jaitley arrived here on his maiden visit since assuming charge as Defence Minister last month and will be meeting Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

“The Defence Minister accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Bikram Singh arrived here for a two-day visit of Jammu and Kashmir,” a defence spokesman said.

The Defence Minister will be briefed by top army officers posted in the state about the anti-militancy operations along the Line of Control to check infiltration of ultras from Pakistan-Occupied of Kashmir (PoK) and in the hinterland.

The other issues likely to come up for discussion are the security arrangements for the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra and rehabilitation and return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, the officials said.

During his stay in the state, Jaitley is also scheduled to visit some forward areas along the LoC where he will interact with local Army officers, they added.

Notably, ahead of Jaitley’s visit, there was a ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) on Friday. Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts with heavy firing and mortar shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir in yet another violation of the ceasefire, prompting retaliation by Indian forces.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a detailed presentation on the security environment on Friday. Those present in the war room included Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State Rao Inderjit Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Since April this year, there have been 20 incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC and international border in Jammu & Kashmir. Last year, there were 149 such incidents, resulting in the death of a dozen jawans and injuries to 41 others.

On Friday morning, Pakistani troops targeted Indian positions in the Balakote sector with mortars and rockets, killing cattle and damaging houses.

J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) on Friday.

(With PTI inputs)

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