Srinagar: General Bipin Rawat on Thursday began a 3-day visit of strategically important Jammu and Kashmir, his first outside New Delhi after taking over as 27th chief of the 1.3 million strong Indian Army earlier this month.
Gen Rawat who has served in J&K at the head of a brigade and a division and also commanded a counterinsurgency Rashtriya Rifles sector in the restive Valley, the experience that gave him the edge and was chosen as new Army Chief over two senior officers, is scheduled to visit all the three regions of the border state –the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh- besides the Line of Control (LoC) and Siachen glacier.
Defence spokesman, Colonel NN Joshi said that the Army Chief will hold security review meetings with senior local commanders at the headquarters of Northern Command in Udhampur and Srinagar-based 15 Corps also known as Chinar Corps and Nagrota (Jammu)-based 16 Corps.
He will also be visiting Army formations in Kupwara, Anantnag, Akhnoor and Rajouri where he will be briefed about the prevailing security situations in the respective areas.
At the LoC, he is scheduled to meet and interact with officers and jawans of the Army and obtain facts of the operational preparedness along the de facto border which has recently seen increasing incidence of skirmishes between facing troops and infiltration bids by militants.
The Army had in September last year carried out surgical strikes across the LoC and Gen. Rawat soon after taking over as the new Army Chief on January 1 had said that it will not hesitate in doing it again to wipe out anti-India terror infrastructure across the border.
He, however, said that any such future action will of “different manner and different style” and that “We will surprise the enemy.”
The Army under him in all probability will also act harder against the militants in the hinterland and while doing so try to benefit from the experiences Gen Rawat has gained over the years after remaining actively involved in counterinsurgency campaign in the Valley, the sources in the Army said.
Soon after his arrival at the Northern Command headquarters, Gen Rawat lauded the role of the command towards restoring peace and normalcy in the Valley which witnessed worst civil unrest in many years in the aftermath of the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani, Col. Joshi said.
“He also commended the soldiers for strongly responding to the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan,” he added.
Col. Joshi quoted the Army Chief as saying, “Every soldier of our Army plays an important role towards security of the nation because it is the contribution of every soldier that makes the Army efficient and strong”.
The spokesman added, “He (Gen. Rawat) emphasised that we need to evolve a dynamic strategy to handle the proxy war and defeat enemy's nefarious designs”.
The Army Chief is also likely to hold one-on-one meetings with Governor, N.N. Vohra, and Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti....