September 2017 News
Sitharaman Reviews Security Situation Along LoC In Kashmir29 September 2017
Srinagar: After taking charge as the Defense Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday visited the forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kashmir Valley, reports said. Nirmala is on her first visit to the Kashmir and she will be here for 2 days to review the security situation in the area. Sitharaman, accompanied by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, arrived at Srinagar on her maiden visit to the state. She straightaway headed to Kupwara sector in north Kashmir for an on-ground assessment of the situation along the LoC, defence sources said. The sources said that senior army officials would brief her about the overall situation in the Valley, including counter-insurgency and counter-infiltration operations, upon her return from Kupwara. Sitharaman is scheduled to meet Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti later in the day, they said. Sources said Sitharaman might either visit Siachen Base camp or carry out an aerial tour of the glacier which is known as the highest battlefield in the world. The Siachen leg of the visit would depend on weather conditions, they added. Sitharaman has reached Srinagar; from where she visited forward posts along Line of Control (de facto border) in north Kashmir and Line of Actual Control (LAC) neighboring China in Ladakh region. Last month on India's Independence Day, Chinese and Indian forces engaged in a brief skirmish wherein the two armies pelted stones at each other when Indian forces guarding the border tried to stop personnel of China's People's Liberation Army from allegedly trying to enter the Indian Territory. During her two-day tour, Sitharaman will also meet with soldiers at the world's highest battlefield Siachen situated at an altitude of 5,400 meters. The minister's visit reportedly marks one year since the surgical strikes. India have claimed that it had launched surgical strikes in Pakistan on the intervening night of 28 September and 29 September 2016, 11 days after the Uri attack, which claimed 19 lives. Army Chief Rawat on 25 September this year said that surgical strikes would be carried out again, should the need arise. Speaking with the media in Delhi, Rawat said that last year's surgical strikes were 'conducted to send a message' and if 'adversaries do not understand, it will be repeated.'