LoC Tense As Jaitley Lands Today

13 June 2014
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: Amidst renewed violence on Line of Control and latest exchange of firing between Indian and Pakistani soldiers, Union Defense Minister Arun Jaitley is arriving Saturday for a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. He is slated to chair a security review meet in Srinagar following a stock-taking tour of forward areas in Poonch where at least one soldier has died and seven others including a major have been injured in unrelated incidents of violence. A senior police officer said that preparation have been made for the smooth visit of Jaitley and adequate security arrangements have been made in and around the places, where the defence minister is scheduled to visit. Jaitley will be the first minister in Narendra Modi-led union government to visit Kashmir. He will be chairing a high level meeting in the summer capital and after that he is scheduled to meet Governor N N Vohra and the chief minister Omar Abdullah. He is likely to be accompanied by the army chief Gen Bikram Singh. Jaitley will be briefed about the security situation by top army , police and intelligence officers in Srinagar. Meanwhile India's defense ministry Friday claimed that Pakistan breached the ceasefire yet again and attacked Indian posts with mortars and rockets for nearly 25 minutes on Friday morning along the Line of Control in Poonch Sector. Jammu based defense spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said that Pakistani troops started firing mortars and rockets on the Indian side around at 7.30 am on Friday, following which the Indian Army retaliated with an exchange of fire that continued for nearly half an hour. He said that the exchange of mortars and rockets between the two sides continued from 7:30 to 7:55 am. 'There is lull now but our troops are alert,' he said adding that no injuries or causality was reported. Army sources said that some of the rockets and mortors allegedly fired by Pakistani Rangers landed in civilian areas resulting in the damage of property and loss of livestock. Pertinently, newly appointed Defence Minister of India Arun Jaitley is scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. Meanwhile, State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation along the Line of Control.'Is it just a coincidence that the Defence Minister is visiting J&K, for his 1st visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?' Omar wrote on micro-blogging website twitter. Omar said that the ceasefire violations in the Rajouri and Poonch areas were significant as some of shells had landed in civilian areas. 'Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri and Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock loss,' he further tweeted.