A day after a trip to Ladakh, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday visited a forward post near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Singh was accompanied by chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane.
“Visited a forward post near LoC in Kupwara District of Jammu-Kashmir today and interacted with the soldiers deployed there. We are extremely proud of these brave and courageous soldiers who are defending our country in every situation,” the defence minister tweeted.
Singh also tweeted several photographs and a video interacting with Indian Army soldiers.
Before that, he visited the holy cave of Amarnath, considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism, and spent about an hour at the temple complex.
“Feeling extremely blessed after praying at Shri Amarnathji Holy Cave in Jammu and Kashmir,” he tweeted later along with a video which showed him praying with several army officials.
His trip to the holy cave comes on the second day of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Singh had reviewed the overall security scenario in the Union territory on Friday with the top military brass.
Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, had landed in Leh on Friday morning and was briefed on the security situation in the sensitive sector including the actual position of troops on both sides of the contested border.
He also witnessed a series of combat manoeuvres at nearby Stakna featuring C-130J special operations aircraft dropping paratroopers, Apache AH-64E attack helicopters, T-90 tanks, infantry combat vehicles and Mi-17 helicopters.
Singh had said that the progress in negotiations with China should help resolve the ongoing border dispute but he “couldn’t guarantee to what extent the situation will be resolved”.
He also said that no power could “touch or grab even an inch of Indian territory” while addressing soldiers at Lukung on the western bank of Ladakh’s Pangong Tso, which has been at the centre of the current border tensions.
Lukung is 43km from Finger 4 on the northern bank of Pangong lake.
He added that India had neither attacked any country nor grabbed anyone’s territory or hurt their self-respect.
“But if anyone attempts to hurt India’s self-respect, we will not tolerate it and will give a befitting reply,” he said.
The defence minister had also asked the officials of the armed forces at a high-level meeting to maintain a strict vigil along the LoC with Pakistan.