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Sunday 5 July 2020

Army chief Rawat reviews preparedness of forces in Kashmir

Army chief interacted with the commanders and troops on the ground who briefed him about the operational preparedness of the troops

Srinagar: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday reviewed the operational preparedness of the forces along the Line of Control (LoC) in the valley on the first day of his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

This is General Rawat’s first visit to the State where the restriction is in place since 5 August after the revocation of provisions of Article 370. Soon after his arrival, General Rawat visited forward areas along the LoC, an Army official said.

The official said the Army chief interacted with the commanders and troops on the ground who briefed him about the operational preparedness of the troops, especially along the LoC. The Army chief is likely to be briefed about the situation in the hinterland during his interaction with senior officials at Badamibagh headquarters of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, the official said.

Home Minister Amit Shah asserted in the Lok Sabha that the Modi government had ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism and its ideology is to ensure the protection of borders and make the country free of terrorism. Replying to a statutory resolution seeking Lok Sabha’s not to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, Amit Shah said the government has spent Rs 2,307 crore to upgrade security apparatus in the State. Hitting out at the Congress and then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said one-third of Jammu and Kashmir is not with India. “Who is responsible,” he asked, drawing a sharp reaction from Congress members.

The House witnessed disruptions over Shah naming Nehru. Continuing his attack on the opposition party, he said so far Article 356 (President’s Rule) was imposed 132 times of which the Congress used it 93 times to dismiss State governments. He also said the government withdrew the security of 919 people in the State as there was no security threat.

Sirf News readers may recall that we have ruled out the possibility of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir. Now only two plausible explanations to the heavy Army deployment remain. One, the soldiers are in the Valley to ensure peace, as the separatists are expected to erupt if Article 370 and Article 35A is lifted. Two, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan may lead to a large chunk of Taliban terrorists, no longer having to engage in duels with the American troops, moving to Kashmir.

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