India: New Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to visit Siachen today, hold key security meet in Srinagar

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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Srinagar today to review the security situation in the valley. Before arriving in Srinagar, Singh will visit the Siachen Glacier.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Srinagar today to review the security situation in the valley. During the visit, the Minister would be briefed about the security situation in the Kashmir valley and the counter-insurgency operations being carried out by the security forces there.

The 67-year-old stalwart leader also took to the micro-blogging website early morning and said: “Later in the day, I would be meeting the Indian Army personnel in Srinagar,” the tweet read.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (File photo: ANI)

Before arriving in Srinagar, Singh will visit the Siachen Glacier– the world’s highest battlefield – to review the security situation along the borders with Pakistan. This will be his first visit outside the national capital as the Defence Minister.

During the visit, the Defence Minister would be accompanied by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and other senior officials from the Defence Ministry, government sources had told ANI.

At the glacier, Rajnath Singh would be briefed about the operations being conducted by the Army, along with the support of air effort by the Indian Air Force.

Northern Army Commander Lt General Ranbir Singh, 14 Corps Commander, and Kargil war hero Lt General YK Joshi are also expected to brief him about the security situation in the region.

The Indian Army has deployed a brigade in the area where some posts are located above the altitude of 23,000 altitude which even poses difficulty in breathing.

During the UPA-1 regime, there were calls for demilitarising the glacier but the Army had put its foot down against the step. The Indian Army has been maintaining the Siachen Glacier since 1984 under the Operation Meghdoot where Army soldiers doubled as mountaineers to reach the peaks and capture them defeating the Pakistan Army.

The Defence Minister is also expected to visit the nearby areas of the Siachen Glacier.

Soon after taking over as the Defence Minister on June 1, Rajnath Singh had asked the officers-in-charge of different departments to prepare a detailed presentation for him on the ongoing projects and programmes and brief him on them soon.

The officers have also been asked to complete the projects in a time-bound manner to move effectively towards modernising the armed forces.

On June 1, he was briefed about the different projects and works being undertaken by the Ministry and services by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and the three services chiefs.

Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/rajnath-singh-siachen-srinagar-security-1541231-2019-06-03

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