Antony concludes Kashmir visit
Skips Tanghdar,Visits Zachaldara
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, July 29: Defence Minister AK Antony on Sunday wound up his two-day security review trip to Kashmir with a visit to forward Army posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district.
Antony had to cancel his Tanghdar visit because of inclement weather and later he visited Zachaldara and interacted with the troopers.
Before wrapping up his two day tour to the state, Antony was supposed to visit a forward post in Tanghdar sector in frontier district of Kupwara.
Antony was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen Bikram Singh, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen K T Parnaik, General Officer Commanding 15 Corps and other senior military and civil officials.
“He was in air when he had to cancel his visit to Tanghdar because of weather problem,” a senior Army official of 15 Corps told Greater Kashmir. “Later he visited Zachaldara.”
Sources in army said Antony was not supposed to visit Zachaldara. “He met the troops at Rani post in Zachaldara,” sources said adding that the soldier platoon stationed at Rani Post was instrumental in killing of 10 militants in two different encounters in the area in March and April this year. “The meeting was arranged in a hurry.”
Antony, according to senior Army officer, spent some time with the soldiers and asked about their welfare. “He asked them about the quality of rations, clothing and shoes they were getting and whether they were satisfied with the same,” sources said.
The minister was briefed about the prevailing security scenario along the LoC in Zachaldara sector and the counter-infiltration measures put in place by the Army.
The area had emerged as a favored infiltration route for militants last year as many militants were reportedly killed in Zachaldara during this and previous year.
Soon after his return Defence Ministry left for New Delhi and at Airport Minister of State Home Nasir Aslam Wani and Minister for Medical Education R S Chib were present, besides the senior Army officials.
Here it needs a mention that during his two-day stay in the Valley, the Defence Minister held a series of meetings to review the security scenario in Kashmir. While chairing the Unified Headquarters meeting Saturday he stressed reduction in troop visibility as much as possible in the state without compromising efficacy.
Antony also asked security forces and intelligence agencies to enhance their coordination to thwart enemy attempts to disturb peace in the border state.
The Defence Minister, who visited Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of 18 months, also met Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and senior officials of the security grid here.
The Defence Ministry said in a statement after yesterday's meeting, "Antony called upon the top brass of the Army, paramilitary forces, state police and intelligence agencies to bring more synergy in their efforts to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the state".
He said the coordination mechanism should be made perfect to thwart any attempt from enemies to disturb peace in the state.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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