Army Chief in Valley to check preparedness of security forces.
Srinagar: Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, on Friday visited a couple of Army formations and units situated near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir to obtain firsthand information about the prevailing situation along the de facto border from local Army commanders.
He also flew over some other forward areas of the LoC in a helicopter before returning to Srinagar where he held a series of meetings with top military commanders to review the prevailing security situation in the Valley.
The defence sources here said that Gen. Rawat is on a two-day visit of the Valley to review the security situation and “operational preparedness” of the Army. This is his first visit of the Valley since the abrogation of Article 370 and splitting the State into two Union Territories on August 5.
The visit also comes in the backdrop of reports that a large group of militants may have sneaked into Kashmir Valley through Hajipir sector of the LoC. The Army had following these reports launched a major search operation in and around the Valley’s premier resort of Gulmarg in Baramulla district last week.
Separately, the LoC’s Gurez sector in neighbouring Bandipore district had earlier this week witnessed heavy cross-border shelling and firing in which, at least, one person was injured and 23 residential houses and other structures were damaged.
The sources said that the Army chief closed with top Army commanders here during which he was briefed on the overall situation in the Valley and “major operational, informational, logistical and administrative issues” involving various J&K-based corps. He was also scheduled to meet governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan to discuss the overall security situation of the State and other related issues.
Gen. Rawat had earlier visited the Valley on August 1, days before the Parliament approved a resolution abrogating special status to J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two UTs.