Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today met Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here and discussed the security situation in the state. An official spokesman said the meeting lasted an hour. Sitharaman was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat. “The governor and Sitharaman discussed several important inter-related issues concerning effective management of internal and external security, particularly in the context of increasing infiltration attempts, the ongoing anti-terrorist operations, and sustained terrorist attacks on security forces personnel in the Valley,” the spokesman said. At the meeting, the governor stressed the urgent need for enlargement of the Border Roads Organisation and strengthening of its resources for ensuring the maintenance of vital road networks and strategic connectivities in J&K, particularly in the Ladakh region. The governor also sought Sitharaman’s intervention for the return of certain pockets of land to the state government which was no longer required for military purposes.
Sitharaman also met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here this evening. The two leaders discussed several issues related to the prevailing situation in the state. Mehbooba sought the intervention of the defence minister for the return of certain pockets of land in the state which are no longer required for operational purposes by the Army and about which consensus has already been arrived between state government and the Defence Ministry.
Mehbooba also raised the issue of speeding up work on some important roads in the state being constructed by the BRO. She also pitched for the construction of tunnels at the Razdan pass on the Bandipore-Gurez road and the Sadhna pass on the Kupwara-Tanghdar road. The chief minister also proposed opening areas such as Battalik, Siachin base for tourist activities. Sitharaman assured Mehbooba to look into the issues raised by her in a time-bound manner, the spokesman said.