Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat would be in the Kashmir valley where they would review the security situation, amid a spike in militant attacks and incidents of violence, officials said today. Jaitley, who also holds the finance portfolio, will be in Srinagar primarily for the two-day meeting of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council on May 18 and 19.
However, he is also likely to review the security situation in the restive valley region and take stock of counter-terror operations, they said. Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat is leaving for Kashmir tomorrow where he would be briefed by top Army commanders about incidents of cross-border firing and ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops. It was not immediately known if the two would review the ground situation together or separately.
Jaitley and Rawat’s Kashmir visit comes in the wake of beheading of two Indian security personnel by Pakistani military in Poonch district earlier this month which was termed “barbaric” by India. While Rawat hinted at retaliation to avenge the killings, Jaitley had said the sacrifice of the two soldiers will not go in vain and that the armed forces will react “appropriately”.
The Kashmir valley has witnessed a spurt in incidents of violence and militant attacks in the last couple of months. The Pakistani troops were involved in 67 ceasefire violations in the first four months of 2017, with maximum of 26 incidents reported in April, according to Army sources. They said a total of 27 militants were killed between January and April in counter-insurgency operations.