February 2017 News

Army Chief Visits Kashmir, Second Time Since Taking Charge

1 February 2017
The Hindustan Times
Ashiq Hussain

Srinagar: On a visit to Kashmir for the second time since January 23, army chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday urged soldiers to uphold human rights at all times. He also stressed upon the need of keeping a track of weather patterns in the Valley to avoid any loss of lives in natural disasters. General Rawat arrived in Srinagar on Tuesday in the aftermath of deaths of 20 soldiers including an officer and a JCO in different incidents of snow avalanches mostly along line of control (LoC) in north Kashmir. An army spokesman said that the chief was briefed by the Corps Commander Lt Gen JS Sandhu on security as also the measures to meet the challenges posed by weather as were highlighted in the recent incidents of avalanches in the higher reaches of north Kashmir. 'Paying his tributes to the martyrs, Gen Rawat laid emphasis on the need to be constantly aware of the weather patterns prevailing in the area and take all necessary precautions to avoid any untoward incidents,' the spokesman said. Accompanied by the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D Anbu and Lt Gen JS Sandhu, the army chief on Wednesday visited LoC in north Kashmir where he was briefed on the operational and logistical preparedness. 'Commending the alertness of all troops deployed along the LC in foiling the nefarious designs of inimical forces, he stressed upon the need to continue our endeavours in maintaining a high degree of vigil,' the army spokesman said. The general also visited the Victor Force Headquarters at Awantipora where he was apprised of the latest situation in south Kashmir. 'He appreciated the professionalism with which the troops had been operating in full synergy with other security and civil agencies to keep the situation under control and impressed upon everyone to uphold human rights at all times,' the spokesman said. Since taking over as army chief on December 31, this is General Rawat's second visit to Kashmir and third to the state. His first visit to Siachen, Leh and the Valley since taking charge was on January 23 when he paid his respects to the soldiers killed in action at the Siachen war memorial. Immediately after taking charge, he had visited the Udhampur based Northern Command in Jammu province. General Rawat earlier served in Kashmir in various capacities including commanding the Dagger Division in 2011-2012 and an RR Sector in Sopore - Bandipora in 2006-2007.