The chief of Army staff General Bipin Rawat today took stock of the security arrangements in the wake of militant attack in which seven yatris were killed and 11 others suffered injuries.
Rawat arrived in Kashmir today and was briefed by the Chinar Corps Commander on the prevailing security situation in the Valley. Later, the Army Chief also chaired a security review meeting which was attended by the Chinar Corps Commander, Chief Secretary and DGP (J&K) among others.
Sources said that the Army chief asked the troops to maintain a state of high alert and sought that the adequate security arrangements be put in place to avoid any untoward incidents. Security has been upgraded across Kashmir with frisking and searches returning to Srinagar city as well the hot bed of militant areas in South Kashmir.
Rawat while condemning “the dastardly act of terror against innocent Amarnath pilgrims,’’ asked the forces to counter such incidents, Army said in a statement.
“COAS indicated that the security forces will counter this menace with greater resolve. The Chief also called on the Governor and CM and discussed the prevailing situation. The Army Chief exhorted the commanders and troops to keep up the pressure on the terrorists as had been witnessed in recent successful operations in the Valley. He complimented the troops for the excellent operations along the line of control, wherein several infiltration attempts were foiled,’’ the statement read.
In the militant attack on the Amarnath yatris which has been widely condemned by the separatist and mainstream political parties, the Amarnath pilgrims, mostly from the twin states of Gujrat and Maharashtra have either died or were injured.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims, five of them women, were killed in the militant attack in Anantnag last night. The militants attacked an armored car of the police at 8.20 pm yesterday. When the police fired back, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately, the official said. A bus carrying yatris was on the highway when the incident occurred, the official said, adding that the yartris were caught in the gunfight in which they lost their lives.
“In the firing by militants, seven people, five of them women, were killed, and another seven injured,” the official said. The bus had come from Sonamarg. The pilgrims were on their way back after visiting the Amarnath shrine. The police claimed the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat arrived in Srinagar to review the security and received a briefing about overall arrangements.
“The Army chief arrived here in Srinagar and interacted with the Director General of Police (S P Vaid) later in the day. Gen Rawat took stock of the co-ordinate security efforts and also held a meeting with the DG CRPF,” an Army official said.