In the wake of the recent Poonch-Rajouri attack that claimed the lives of four army personnel, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande visited the operational site on Monday, and urged the commanders to carry the operations in the “most professional manner” in the ongoing operations against the militants. The attack had occurred last week, leading to the death of four army personnel and injuries to two.
The visit coincided with reports of the death of three civilians allegedly picked up by the armed forces for questioning after the militant attack. The civilians were found dead near the attack site on December 23.
The Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) stated, “COAS interacted with commanders on ground, exhorted them to conduct the operations in the most professional manner and remain resolute and steadfast against all challenges.”
General Pande, upon reaching Jammu, left for the Rajouri-Poonch sector to assess operational preparedness and the security situation. He visited Dhera Ki Gali, reviewing the ongoing anti-militancy operation in Surankote and the nearby Thanamandi forest belt.
The Army Chief then proceeded to the 25 Infantry Division headquarters in Rajouri, where he received briefings from ground commanders about the overall security situation. Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi also visited the Poonch sector to review reinforcements for operational excellence.
An official statement said, “Army commander presence in Poonch sector reinforces Indian Army’s commitment for operational excellence.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to embark on a one-day visit to Jammu on December 27, focusing on strategic discussions with top-ranking Army officers at 16 Corps. The visit will also include interactions with military personnel and locals in Rajouri and Poonch, showcasing the Minister’s commitment to understanding ground realities.
The ongoing tensions have resulted in the suspension of mobile internet services in both Poonch and Rajouri districts for the third day as a precautionary measure. The Jammu and Kashmir administration announced compensation and jobs for the families of the deceased civilians.
The Army, addressing the incident, stated, “The matter is under investigation. Indian Army stands committed to extending full support and cooperation in the conduct of investigations.”