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SOURCE: Express News Service

Amid a wave of abduction of families of policemen and violations of border ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman directed troops to remain alert for any eventuality to defeat “nefarious designs of hostile forces”.

Sitharaman, accompanied by Army chief General Bipin Rawat, were in Kashmir to review the operational preparedness of the troops. After landing in Srinagar, the two, accompanied by Northern Command chief Lt-Gen Ranbir Singh and General Officer Commanding (GoC), 15 Corps, Lt-Gen A K Bhatt, visited the forward areas along the LoC in the border district of Kupwara.

“She was briefed by army commanders about the operational preparedness of troops and measures taken to check infiltration by strengthening the counter infiltration grid,” defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

During her interaction with the troops, the defence minister lauded the men and officers for sharp round-the-clock vigil along the LoC, high morale and professionalism. She asked them to remain extra vigilant to thwart attempt by militants to sneak into the state to cause disturbances.

Later, she and the Army chief met Governor Satya Pal Malik and discussed the overall political and prevailing security situation in the state. They discussed issues concerning effective management of internal and external security, particularly in the wake of increased infiltration bids, a Raj Bhavan spokesman said.