Battle Zone Keran: Top Commanders Pay Aerial Visit

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SRINAGAR: Lt Gen Sanjiv  Chachra, GOC-in-C, Northern Command Saturday visited forward areas of Keran sector in North Kashmir where a fierce gun-battle is raging between Indian army and militants for last fortnight. The official, according to reports, conducted an aerial survey of the battle zone and later held a meeting with senior officers in the frontier district.

General Chachra, accompanied by GOC 15-Corps, General Gurmit Singh and several top generals conducted an extensive aerial tour of the Keran Sector in helicopters to take stock of the situation.

Soon after getting the firsthand account, the officers held a meeting with other senior Army officers of Kupwara district at Army’s 28 Infantry Division and discussed latest developments particularly the situation in Shalabuth area of Keran sector and rest of Line of Control (LoC), official sources said.

Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, Army Commander, Northern Command, was briefed by army commanders about the prevailing security scenario in their areas of responsibility, an army spokesman said.  

He said Lt Gen Chachra, who arrived here today on a four day tour, visited headquarters of the sector Rashtriya Rifles along with Chinar Corps Commander, Lt Gen Gurmit Singh.  

The possibility of militants using telephone landline and making contact with other side also featured among the topics discussed during the meeting, sources said, adding intelligence agencies were worried about being unable to intercept the phone calls of intruders. The meeting also expressed apprehensions that intruders might have dumped large amount of arms and ammunition besides food essentials to survive for long, sources said. 

The Defence spokesperson in a statement said that in the next two days, Army Commander is scheduled to visit the forward formations and units to review the anti-infiltration grid. “He’ll also review the ongoing operations being conducted by the Army,” the spokesperson said.

“General Chachra will also call on Governor N.N .Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah,” spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Para troopers along 3/3 GR, 15 RR, 16 GR and 5 ASSAM have intensified the combing operation in Shalabuth which allegedly has been under militant occupation. Army has denied it.

Official sources said that Army has launched massive search operation across Kupwara forests which include Divar, Gagal, Doorswani, Sheikh Nad , Kant Pora, Jumgand, Chowkibal, Trum Nad, Manchithar and Batpora forests following the rise in infiltration attempts from across the border.  

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