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Rajnath to chair high-level meetings at Raj Bhawan, Corps Hqrs on Dec 27

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Jammu, Dec 26: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to chair high-level meeting at Raj Bhawan here on December 27 to review security situation in Jammu and Kashmir especially the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch which have witnessed spurt in terror attacks resulting into martyrdom of 19 soldiers in four strikes. He will also visit the two districts for on spot assessment of the situation.

Rajnath’s day-long visit’s announcement comes after Army chief Gen Manoj Pande’s tour to Poonch including site of terror attack at Dera Ki Gali in which four bravehearts lost their lives and three others were injured followed by mysterious death of three civilians.

Officials told the Excelsior that Rajnath will first hold a meeting exclusively with top Army Commanders at 16 Corps Headquarters at Nagrota to discuss in detail the situation prevailing in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir including the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan besides the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri where special operations to flush out the terrorists could be launched shortly though massive search and cordon operations are already in progress.

Northern Command chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, Nagrota Corps GOC Lt Gen Sandeep Jain and senior Commanders will attend the meeting and brief the Defence Minister on ground situation.

“A fresh strategy is likely to be devised in the meeting to be chaired by the Defence Minister at the Raj Bhawan to flush out the terrorists from Rajouri and Poonch districts besides other parts of Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting will be attended by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and top officials of Army, paramilitary forces, Jammu and Kashmir Police, civil administration and Intelligence agencies,” the officials said.

The Defence Minister will also visit the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and meet with Army officials and civilians there to have first hand information of the prevailing situation. He is likely to address the civilians in Poonch.

He will return to New Delhi in the evening.
Rajnath Singh’s visit assumes significance as the terrorists have carried out a series of attacks this year in Rajouri and Poonch beginning January 1 when they massacred seven civilians of minority community at Dhangri in Rajouri district.

Four attacks/encounters took place-two each in Rajouri and Poonch-in which 19 bravehearts have sacrificed their lives.

However, at the same time, security forces have also eliminated nearly 30 terrorists on the LoC as well as hinterland but there were reports that 30 terrorists are still active in the twin border districts.

On December 21, three to four foreign terrorists equipped with M4 rifles and other sophisticated weapons and explosives ambushed two Army vehicles including a Gypsy and a truck killing four soldiers and injuring three others before fleeing from the spot.

The next day three civilians were found dead in the area under mysterious circumstances and there were reports that they might have died in the Army custody.

Army has already ordered an inquiry and shifted four senior officers of the Unit while police have lodged an FIR in the case. (Agencies)

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