Shinde makes aerial survey near J&K border, visits terror attack sites

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Samba (Jammu), Oct 22: Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday visited the sites of recent twin terror strikes and conducted an aerial survey of the area near the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir as part of his visit to the state to review the situation there in the wake of increasing cases of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Accompanied by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami and top officials of the intelligence agencies and BSF, Shinde visited the BSF headquarters in Samba where he was briefed about the security situation along IB.

BSF officers made a presentation on ceasefire violations and the damage to the border fencing caused by recent floods along with the steps taken by them to guard the IB in view of the rise in the number of infiltration attempts.

Omar also accompanied Shinde on an aerial inspection of IB during which the Home Minister also surveyed infiltration routes and damaged fencing and riverine border belts between Akhnoor in Jammu district and Pahadpur in Kathua district.

He also visited Hiranagar Police Station and Army camp, where 10 people, including an army officer, were killed in twin terror strikes in Kathua and Samba on Aug. 26. The three militants who had carried out the attack were killed in an exchange with security forces.

"We have come here to review the situation. I have taken an aerial tour of the border from Akhnoor to the place where infiltration took place (Pahadpur in Hiranagar)... We have surveyed the river and nullahs along the border," Shinde said.

The morale of our troops is high and they are guarding the border round the clock," he noted.

There have been over 140 ceasefire violations along IB this year, the highest for the past eight years.

Since August, the Indo-Pakistan border has virtually seen daily firing and shelling along with attacks carried out from the Pakistan side, sniper incidents and infiltration bids which have left seven security personnel dead while injuring 26 persons.

Shinde, who arrived this morning from New Delhi, addressed troops of the BSF 68th battalion and lauded them for their role in guarding the border.

"We have come here to promise you that we stand by you, the country stands by you," Shinde said in Samba while asking the jawans to give a bullet for bullet reply to Pakistan.

When he put forth a question for his audience whether they were going to give a strong reply to Pakistan, yes came the reply from the troops.

PTI

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