Srinagar, Feb 24: Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, today reviewed the security situation in Kashmir in the backdrop of recent militant attacks in which Army suffered heavy casualties.
The Army chief arrived here last evening soon after deadly militant attack in South Kashmir’s Shopian district left three soldiers dead and two officers injured. He was briefed by GOC Northern Command, Lt Gen D Anbu and GOC Chinar Corps, Lt Gen JS Sandhu, about the security situation in Kashmir and recent militant attacks in which 8 Army personnel, equal number of militants and three civilians were killed since February 12 in Kashmir and over a dozen officers including two officers injured.
The Army chief stressed upon intelligence based operations so that the Army casualties are minimized in these operations. He was also briefed on stone-pelting during counter-insurgency operations in which militants manage to flee as security forces get distracted due to mob attacks.
It may be mentioned here that Gen Rawat last week had warned of stern action against those trying to disrupt anti-militancy operations in Kashmir and said they will be treated as “over-ground workers of terrorists” and can be fired on. His warning came after Army lost three of its soldiers in militant assault coupled with stone-pelting by a mob.
A Defence spokesman said here that the Army chief along with Northern Army and Chinar Corps Commanders Lt Gen D Anbu and Lt Gen JS Sandhu, visited Victor and Kilo Force Headquarters where he was briefed on the prevailing security situation and on the recent operations conducted by the security forces.
He also reviewed the collaborative measures of security forces towards ensuring peace and calm in the region and interacted with local Commanders and troops urging them to continue discharging their duty with utmost professionalism, said the spokesman.
Reinforcing the need to maintain high vigil, the Army chief also discussed the issue of stone pelting during operations and impressed upon all to synergise efforts with the other security agencies in dealing with such situations effectively, the Defence spokesman added.
The spokesman, meanwhile, said, in a solemn ceremony held here at Badami Bagh Canton-ment, Gen Rawat along with others paid floral tributes to three soldiers who lost their lives during a militant ambush in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
He said the chief of Army Staff paid rich tributes to the gallant soldiers, Lance Naik Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din, Sepoy Vikas Singh Gurjar and Sapper Sreejith MJ and expressed his grief and condolences to the bereaved families.
The chief also conveyed his anguish at the unfortunate death of an elderly lady, Taja Begum in the terrorist attack and prayed to Almighty to grant strength to her family to bear this irreparable loss, the spokesman said.
On the occasion, wreaths were also laid on behalf of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti by Minister of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj, Abdul Haq Khan and Agriculture Minister, Ghulam Nabi Lone besides other officials from Civil Administration and security agencies, the Defence spokesman said.
He said on his arrival yesterday, the Army chief had first met the other injured soldiers at the Army Base Hospital in Badami Bagh Cantonment and wished them speedy recovery.