Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the security scenario in the Kashmir valley along with Army chief Bipin Rawat. Sitharaman held discussions with Governor NN Vohra and Army commanders on the prevailing situation in the state.
The minister also visited the Srinagar-based 15 Corps (Chinar Corps) in Badamibag, where she was briefed on the security and administrative arrangements for the Amarnath yatra which begins on Thursday. She later flew to the Amarnath Yatra base camp in Sonamarg of northern Kashmir and also undertook an aerial recce of the yatra route along the Pahalgam axis in southern Kashmir.
This is the defence minister’s first visit to the valley after BJP pulled out of the coalition with PDP last week. At Chinar Corps, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen AK Bhatt, updated her on the latest security scenario in the Valley including details of counter-infiltration and anti-militancy operations undertaken recently. During her meeting in Raj Bhavan, the minister said the security forces should work in complete synergy to achieve results.
“Security forces should constantly review and identify any gap in the security arrangements and ensure swift and targeted counterterror responses on the ground,” Sitharaman said at the meeting.
The government is determined to ensure the smooth conduct of Amarnath yatra under governor’s rule. Over 213 additional companies of para military forces have been deployed to secure the route from Jammu to the two base camps of Baltal in Sonamarg and Nunwan in Pahalgam. The government has also deployed specialised forces including NSG.