Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, reviewed the security in Srinagar today and asked the Army to work towards ensuring a peaceful atmosphere here.
According to sources, Jaitley arrived in Srinagar this evening and drove to the corps headquarter at Badamibagh, where he held a meeting of top Army brass. He was accompanied by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and the meeting was attended by top Army officials including the GoC Northern Command.
The Defence Minister asked the armed force personnel to help build peace in Kashmir and cautioned against use of any excessive force.
During the meeting the escalation in the incidents of militancy was taken a strong note, and the Minister also given a detailed brief of the measures that have been taken to control the militancy. In the meeting both the rising incidents of militants in Kashmir as well as the stepped up activity along the borders also came up for discussion.
“The meeting was called to review the overall security situation amid heightened tension on the Line of Control (LoC) where India and Pakistan troops have been exchanging in constant firing,’’ said an official, adding that the conditions that prevailed due to the increase in militant attacks and the student unrest in the Valley also came up for the review.
Today’s visit was the first by Jaitley after he took over the additional charge from Manohar Parrikar. As Finance Minister, he will also chair the two-day long Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meeting that is being tomorrow in Srinagar. During his visit to the LoC, Jaitley would meet the field commanders.
He was briefed on the overall preparedness of the army to meet challenges of ceasefire violations by Pakistan and the heightened risk of infiltration as the snow starts to thaw on the mountains.
Sources in Srinagar said that the ongoing students’ unrest that has fuelled the separatist movement in the Kashmir also came up for the review in the meeting with the Defence Minister.
“The impact of an unrest on the overall security situation was also discussed and the role that the Army can play to bring peace was discussed. During the review Minister also discussed the ways and means that can be adopted by the Army to help the civil administration bring the situation under control in the Kashmir region,” a top official said.