JAMMU, June 18: On his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the withdrawal of Ramzan ceasefire by the Central Government, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat today reviewed security situation in the State including the Line of Control (LoC) with Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and GOC Nagrota Corps Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh. He met the family of martyr Army soldier Aurangzeb in their house at village Salani in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district and assured them that martyrdom of Aurangzeb won’t go in vain and his killers will not survive long.
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Gen Rawat flew-in here from New Delhi and proceeded to the residence of Aurangzeb, who belonged to 44 Rashtriya Rifles of Army and was killed by the militants when he was on way to home on leave for Eid celebrations, at village Salani in Mendhar tehsil and was with the family for about 20 minutes.
He was reported to have assured Mohammad Hanief, father of Aurangzeb, who had sought justice from the Government of India after the killing of his young son, that martyrdom of Aurangzeb won’t go in vain and that his killers won’t survive very long.
The visit of Chief of Army Staff to the residence of Aurangzeb assumed significance as his family especially the father had made impassionate appeals to both Centre and State Governments, besides the Army, to take revenge for the killing of his son.
Rifleman Aurangzeb of 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was abducted and killed by terrorists in Pulwama district when he was on his way to home to celebrate Eid on June 14. He was part of Major Rohit Shukla’s team, which had eliminated Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Sameer Tiger.
Aurangzeb had boarded a private vehicle for Shopian, from where he was supposed to go to Rajouri district. The terrorists intercepted the vehicle as it approached Kalampora and abducted the jawan. His bullet-riddled body was found at Gussu village, about 10 kilometers from Kalampora in Pulwama district.
Aurangzeb’s family had made an emotional appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Army, besides the Jammu and Kashmir Government, to eliminate militancy from the State and avenge the martyrdom of their kin.
“My son has laid down his life for the country. He was a brave soldier. I and my sons will also sacrifice (ourselves) for the nation. We want goons to be wiped out,” Mohammad Hanief, Aurangzeb’s father and a former Sepoy of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, had said.
“I give PM Modi 72 hours to avenge my son’s death or else we are ready to take revenge on our own. Kashmir is ours. We must not let Kashmir burn. Instead, we must eliminate the goons who are destroying the Valley,” Hanief had said.
In a video, widely seen on social media, an emotional Hanief can be seen asking why Pakistani flags were waved in Kashmir.
Speaking to the father of brave-heart, Gen Bipin Rawat assured all possible assistance to the family.
Gen Rawat also held high-level review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan with Northern Army Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and General Officer Commanding (GOC) White Knight Corps (Nagrota) Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh, who accompanied him to forward areas including Poonch district.
The Army chief, during his visit to forward areas, also interacted with the soldiers and complimented them for their professionalism, selfless commitment and loyalty. He exhorted the troops to continue to work with zeal and dedication to overcome the challenges posed by weather, enemy and terrorism.
He commended the synergy between all security agencies and civil administration in Jammu and Kashmir.
Only a day before, an Army soldier was martyred in Pakistan shelling and firing on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district. The incident was the first major ceasefire violation on the LoC after May 29 agreement between Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan in which both had committed themselves to November 2003 ceasefire agreement. However, Pakistan army violated the agreement.
The Army chief returned to New Delhi in the afternoon.
Significantly, Gen Rawat’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir came just a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh withdrew conditional ceasefire in the State after the month of Ramzan due to sudden spurt in the level of violence.