Updated: August 31, 2019 8:13:10 am
As tensions soared between India and Pakistan, Army chief General Bipin Rawat Friday visited formations and units deployed along the Line of Control in the Valley, and urged troops to be ready for any contingency including “emerging security challenges” in view of “increased infiltration attempts”.
The Army chief, who reviewed preparedness along the LoC, is on a two-day visit to the Valley, his first after the removal of the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two Union Territories.
Accompanied by Chinar Corps commander Lt General K J S Dhillon, General Rawat was briefed by local commanders on ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops, the situation on the ground and the measures taken. During his interaction with soldiers, he praised them for their high morale and motivation.
A Defence spokesperson said the Army chief “appreciated the robust counter-infiltration grid which has neutralised multiple infiltration attempts of terrorists”.
The visit to the LoC formations and units assumes significance given the increase in incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan and infiltration attempts. Large-scale activity is said to have been noticed at over two dozen terror camps/launch pads along the International Border and LoC.
In New Delhi, Defence sources said terror outfits have, over the last 10 days, been threatening local shopkeepers not to open shops. Terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen have also put up posters in different parts of the Valley, issuing threats and trying to instigate local residents, sources said.
In the Valley, restrictions on civilian movement were re-imposed Friday with authorities barring people from offering prayers at the major mosques. Several protesters were injured when police and paramilitary forces fired pellets and tear-smoke shells to disperse protesters at Anchar on Srinagar’s periphery.
Moving to foil protests, police and paramilitary forces blocked roads with concertina wire spools and metal barricades. The Friday prayers were allowed in neighbourhood mosques.
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