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Nirmala Sitharaman visits Kashmir, discusses security, polls with governor

The defence minister met the governor at Rajbhawan in Srinagar and the two discussed issues related to security along the Line of Control and hinterland of the state

india Updated: Sep 02, 2018 22:18 IST
HT Correspondent
Nirmala Sitharaman,Kashmir,Satya Pal Malik
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Army chief general Bipin Rawat interacts with troops of the 28 Inf Div on their visit to the Balbir forward post in Keran sector, J-K on September 2.(PTI Photo)

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday visited Kashmir along with army chief General Bipin Rawat, and met state governor Satya Pal Malik to discuss security and governance issues.

Sitharaman discussed prevailing security issues and the conduct of the urban local body and panchayat elections to be held between October and December with the governor at Raj Bhawan.

“The governor and defence minister discussed several important inter-related issues concerning effective management of internal and external security, particularly in the context of increasing attempts at infiltration and the ongoing anti-terrorist operations,” a Raj Bhawan spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said Malik and Sitharaman had detailed discussions on the urban local bodies and panchayat elections, the crucial need for strengthening and the maintenance of vital road networks and strategic connectivity in J&K, particularly in the Ladakh region.

The governor lauded the Northern Army’s working in coordination with the civil administration, state police and central armed forces for ensuring safety and security of the people,” the Raj Bhawan spokesperson said.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under governor’s rule since the coalition government of PDP and BJP fell in June.

Satya Pal Malik was sworn in as the 13th governor of the state last month, replacing NN Vohra, who held the post since 2008.

Earlier, Sitharaman along with the army chief was received by Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Northern Army commander and Lt Gen AK Bhatt, Chinar Corps commander.

“The defence minister also visited forward areas in the frontier district of Kupwara where she was briefed by the commanders on ground regarding the operational preparedness and counter-infiltration grid,” an army spokesperson said.

During her interaction with the troops, she lauded their “round-the-clock sharp vigil along the Line of Control, high morale and professionalism”.

First Published: Sep 02, 2018 17:48 IST