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Indian Army's New Vice Chief Says Terrorist Groups Remain Active in Divided Kashmir

© AP Photo / Mukhtar KhanIndian Border Security Force soldiers guard outside the residence of former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference party president Farooq Abdullah before Abdullah met his party colleagues in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, 6 October 2019.
Indian Border Security Force soldiers guard outside the residence of former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference party president Farooq Abdullah before Abdullah met his party colleagues in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, 6 October 2019.  - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): India has appointed Lt. General Satinder Kumar Saini as Vice Chief of its Army to fill the spot left by General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who was made Chief of the Army.

Lt. General Saini, after assuming command, said several terrorist staging ground have been re-occupied in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir region. He added that the situation in the restive Indian-administered region of Kashmir along the de facto international border is under control.

His statement comes days after Indian security forces neutralised several terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), led by the UN-designated terrorist Masood Azhar in Kashmir's Pulwama district.

JeM was the group which made international headlines and sparked the worst Indo-Pak confrontation in decades when it launched a deadly suicide attack on a convoy of Indian troops in Pulwama in February, 2019, killing over 40 personnel. India retaliated by launching an aerial bombardment of a suspected JeM terror camp in Balakot, a region of Pakistan across the border.

Indian Armed Forces have been on alert ever since the Pulwama incident and later after New Delhi scrapped Article 370, which granted special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir in early August, 2019.

According to army officials, 2019 witnessed a maximum number of ceasefire violations along Jammu and Kashmir’s border with Pakistan - 3,289 ceasefire violations, out of which 1,565 took place after August 2019, when the special status was scrapped.

Meanwhile, India’s federal Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that New Delhi has engaged its neighbours in conversations, with one exception (an apparent reference to Pakistan), in order to develop a joint approach for regional peace and security.

“It's important that we unite in our efforts to defeat terrorism,” said Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.

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