Defence Minister Sitharaman visits forward base in Siachen, inaugurates bridge in Leh

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, visited forward areas in Leh and Ladakh, including the Siachen base camp on Saturday. The defence minister was received by Lt Gen S K Upadhyay, General Officer Commanding of Fire and Fury Corps. She paid tribute to fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the war memorial on the forward area base.

Along with interacting with troops and the top brass of the Indian Army, Sitharaman also inaugurated ‘Pratham-Shyok’ bridge in Leh over river Shyok on the road between Durbuk and Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). The bridge will connect the region to the Karakoram in northeastern Ladakh.

The minister was accompanied by the Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Commander, Northern Command and Corps Commander of the Ladakh Corps on her visit to the high altitude base.

Sitharaman also interacted with the troops of Indian Air Force posted at Air Force Station Leh.

Sitharaman, who is on a two-day trip to take stock of the security situation in the state, visited the Chinar Corps headquarters after her arrival on Friday. She was briefed by Army Commanders in Badami Bagh on the current security status in the Valley.

“In the meeting, the Defence Minister was given an overview of the counter-infiltration and counter-terrorist operations undertaken in the recent past,” Defense spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said on Friday.

This is Sitharaman’s first visit to the state after assuming office as the Defence Minister earlier this month. The visit to the state comes days after Union Minister Jitender Singh said there is need to “change the discourse” around Jammu and Kashmir.

By: Indian Express

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