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Rajnath, Army chief in Jammu amid spike in attacks by Pak-backed terror outfits

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Rajouri on Saturday (Image courtesy: ADGPI)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande visited the Army Base Camp in Rajouri, Jammu & Kashmir on Saturday to take stock of the operational preparedness of the Indian Army and the security situation along the border.

The visit came amid the ongoing joint operations launched against Pakistan-based terrorists in Rajouri’s Kandi forest.

“The Raksha Mantri interacted with the soldiers and commended their valour and zeal while operating in challenging situations. He asserted that the nation feels secure because of the unmatched courage, commitment and constant vigil of the soldiers of the Indian Army in difficult areas,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence.

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi were also present during the review meeting on the ongoing operations in Rajouri and Poonch Sector where five Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice in an IED blast triggered by the militants on Friday.

Indian Army Rajouri Poonch
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi during his visit to Rajauri and Poonch Sector (Image courtesy: Indian Army/Northern Command)

Paying homage to the brave soldiers, Defence Minister Singh said that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

In the ongoing ‘Operation Trinetra’ launched by Indian Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF in Kandi forest, one terrorist was neutralised early Saturday.

operation trinetra

It is believed that more terrorists, who infiltrated from across the border, are trapped in the area and likely to be injured in the ensuing gunbattle.

“Recoveries made so far include 1 AK56, 4 Mags of AK, 56 rounds of AK, 1 x 9mm Pistol with Mag, 3 grenades & 1 ammunition Pouch. Identity of the neutralised terrorist is being ascertained. Op Trinetra continues,” said Army’s 16 Corps based in Nagrota.

Earlier this week, four terrorists were eliminated in successful operations in Machal and Baramulla Sectors in a span of 24 hours.

On April 20, five Indian soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on a truck in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch as the region witnesses a spike in terror attacks by Pakistan-based terror outfits ahead of a high-profile working group meeting of tourism delegates from the G20 nations scheduled to be held in Srinagar in the last week of May.

New Delhi is aware that Pakistan may play mischief during the G20 event and also the annual Amarnath pilgrimage.

On April 13, Home Minister Amit Shah held a review meeting on the security situation of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi which was also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, Home Secretary, IB Director, RAW Chief and other senior officials of the government.

In Goa on Friday, during the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which was also attended by Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took a dig at Pakistan for making no efforts to block the channel of finances for terrorist activities.

“They (Pakistan) are committing acts of terrorism. I don’t want to jump the gun on what happened today, but we all feel equally outraged. On this matter, the terrorism matter, I would say that Pakistan’s credibility is depleting faster than even its Forex reserves,” said Jaishankar.

Jaishankar also called his Pakistani counterpart the “promoter, justifier and spokesperson of a terrorism industry” saying that “victims of terrorism do not sit together with its perpetrators to discuss terrorism.”

India has repeatedly called upon Pakistan to bring perpetrators of the 2008 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to justice, saying the trial of the terror kingpins by Islamabad is an international obligation.

New Delhi has stated that it is a matter of deep anguish that even after so many years of the heinous terror attack, the families of 166 victims from 15 countries across the globe still await closure, with Pakistan showing little sincerity in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Also Read: Two soldiers killed, 4 injured in fierce Rajouri encounter