Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will be in Srinagar on Friday for the first time following the withdrawal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. General Rawat will review the security situation and preparedness of security forces in the Kashmir Valley in the wake of an increase in ceasefire violations.
Army chief’s visit comes amidst Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik insisting that valley is returning to normalcy.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also reviewed security in Kashmir on Thursday following his visit to Leh to inaugurate a Kisan Mela at the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research.
CPM(M) leader Sitaram Yechury met his party colleague MY Tarigami on Thursday after Supreme Court’s permission. Earlier, a delegation of Opposition led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was sent back from Srinagar airport.
Rawat’s visit to Kashmir comes amid an alert issued in major ports along the western coast of the country against the threat of Pakistan-trained JeM militants using the sea route to enter India in order to create communal disturbances.
Earlier this month, General Rawat had said that the Army is committed to cordial relations with people of Kashmir.
Rawat further said, “The relations of the Armed Forces with the general public of Kashmir used to be very cordial in the 70s and 80s. We will keep good relations with the general public. It would be great if that kind of camaraderie between the Army and general public begins again. We used to meet the general public without guns at that time.”
According to the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the Valley has been peaceful since August 5. However, security agencies have confirmed that, there have been around 220 ceasefire violations along the LoC since August 5.
Strict restrictions continue in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. The Valley has also been put on high alert ahead of Friday prayers, said sources.