Army chief in Kashmir to review security

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will be in Srinagar on Friday to review security preparedness in the Valley in view of the external threats following the withdrawal of the special category status of Jammu and Kashmir. The Valley has also been put on high alert ahead of Friday prayers, said sources.

Rawat's visit on Friday will be his first trip to the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 and division of the state into two Union Territories. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed security in the Valley on Thursday following his visit to Leh to inaugurate a Kisan Mela at the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research.

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. "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," Rawat had said.

According to the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the Valley has been peaceful since August 5. However, security agencies have confirmed that Pakistan has upped the ante along the Line of Control (LoC) with repeated violations of ceasefire. According to sources, there have been around 220 ceasefire violations along the LoC since August 5.

--IANS

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