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Rajnath visits Siachen, reviews security in Kashmir

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Says, will send thank you note to parents of jawans

Srinagar: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Monday reviewed security situation in the Kashmir valley during his maiden visit to Srinagar after assuming charge.

Singh was accompanied by the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, and the Northern Army Commander, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh.

They were received by Lt Gen K J S Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander in Srinagar.

The defence minister was briefed in detail about the situation on the Line of Control and the hinterland, besides the successful anti-terror operations, a defence spokesperson said.

He said the minister Singh was apprised of "the great synergy and close coordination" among all government agencies for bringing back normalcy in the region.

He was also apprised of the ongoing preparations for smooth conduct of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.

Lauding the "valour, sacrifice and patriotic fervour of every soldier serving in these challenging situations for national integrity",  Singh said the country was proud of its soldiers.

He urged all to continue the good work that they were doing and ensure safety of the innocent people while dealing firmly with the inimical elements, the defence spokesperson added.

The defence minister also impressed upon the commanders to maintain strict vigil along the Line of Control and remain prepared to give a befitting reply to any misadventure from across the border, he added.

Earlier, Defence Minister on Monday visited Siachen, the world's highest battle field, where he interacted with soldiers and stressed that the government will fulfil their requirements on priority basis.

Singh saluted the valour of the soldiers guarding the border beyond the heights of 12,000 ft and said he will personally send a thank you note to their parents for letting them serve the nation.

The defence minister also paid tributes to the martyrs and noted that more than 1,100 soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice defending the Siachen Glacier.

“I am proud of all Army personnel serving in Siachen who are leaving no stone unturned to defend our motherland. I am also proud of their parents who have sent their children to serve the Nation by joining the Armed Forces. I will personally send a Thank You note to them," Singh, who was on his first visit outside Delhi after being appointed Defence Minister, said addressing the soldiers.

"The nation will always remain indebted to their service and sacrifice," he said.

Singh said the government is fully aware of all operational and administrative requirements for optimal functioning at Siachen Glacier and "will fully support efforts to fulfil the requirements on priority for our brave Siachen Warriors".

The Defence Minister, who interacted with soldiers over tea, praised the tenacious resolve and unstinting commitment of the personnel for maintaining the sanctity of the national borders and ensuring utmost safety of fellow countrymen.

"Our soldiers in Siachen are performing their duty with great courage and fortitude even in extreme conditions and treacherous terrain. I salute their vigour and valour," the Defence Minister, who reviewed security preparedness with top field commanders of the area, later tweeted.

The Siachen Glacier in the Karakorum range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds. Avalanches and landslides are common at the glacier during the winters and temperatures can drop to as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

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