The new Army Chief reached Poonch on his first visit, General Upendra Dwivedi gave a special message to the army

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi: New Army Chief General Upendra Dwivedi chose Poonch-Rajouri area for his first visit after assuming office. On Wednesday, General Dwivedi visited forward areas near the Line of Control in Poonch-Rajouri and interacted with army officials. He reviewed the operational preparedness of the army and also gave necessary instructions. The first visit of the Army Chief here is important because this area has been on the target of terrorists for some time now. For about two decades, these areas were generally considered peaceful. But, for the last 3-4 years, terrorists have been targeting the security forces as well as common people and tourists here. Many questions have also been raised on intelligence due to the continuous terrorist incidents here. Last year, the then and current Defense Minister Rajnath Singh himself had talked about strengthening the intelligence and also assured the necessary cooperation for this.

Here the Indian Army forces – Romeo, Delta, Uniform Force had the responsibility of different areas, but four years ago when the tension with China increased on the LAC in eastern Ladakh and the situation reached violent clashes, the uniform force was removed from here and sent to the LAC. The number of soldiers equivalent to three brigades was reduced from here. Due to the reduction in their numbers, the remaining force also got the responsibility of the areas where the uniform force was deployed. According to experts, the terrorists also took advantage of this and worked to re-establish themselves in this area.

In the recent past, the Indian Army has deployed more soldiers in these areas to fill this gap, but even now the number of soldiers has not increased to the same extent as before. Also, due to the gap of four years, the connection between the army and the people has also weakened. This has affected human intelligence. Now the trust of the people here does not match the old number, that is, the force is not as much as it was four years ago. Also, to win the trust of the local people and prepare a human intelligence network, one will have to work continuously and live among them. It will take time to fill the gap that has come in four years.

The focus needs to be on bringing people together

The terrorists have carried out most attacks and ambushes in Rajouri-Poonch areas, which also indicates that the terrorists must be getting help from the local people. The terrorists have increased their activities in the south of Pir Panjal area. Rajouri, Poonch, Surankote, Sunderbani, Nowshera, all these areas fall in the south of Pir Panjal. This area has also seen the period when the Hill Kaka area in the Pir Panjal hills near Surankote in Rajouri became a stronghold of terrorists around the year 2000. Then the army trained the local boys here against the terrorists and in 2003, by running Operation Sarp Vinash, the terrorists were wiped out. Here too, the same trust is needed between the army and the people.

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