Top Army officer visits Topa Peer village in J&K’s Poonch, interacts with locals

Jammu, Feb 12 (PTI) The commander of the Army’s White Knight Corps visited Topa Peer village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Monday and reiterated the force’s commitment to peace and stability in the region.

The Army last month adopted Topa Peer village, where three civilians died allegedly after being picked up by the Army for questioning in connection with a terrorist ambush in December last.

General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the White Knight Corps Lieutenant General Navin Sachdeva, accompanied by GOC of Conter Insurgency Force (Romeo) Maj Gen Manish Gupta, visited the village.

“GOC #WhiteKnightCorps and GOC Romeo Force interacted with Peer Topa & Pangai residents and community elders. He reiterated #IndianArmy’s commitment to peace and stability,” the Army said in a post on X.

A defence spokesman said the commanders reaffirmed the Army’s commitment to community engagement.

The visit of Lt Gen Sachdeva to Poonch-Rajouri was aimed at fostering unity and collaboration for strengthening peace and stability, he said.

The spokesman said the corps commander encouraged continued cooperation between the people and security forces, highlighting the crucial role community support plays in maintaining peace and security.

The legitimate concerns and aspirations of the people of Topa Peer, Pangai and adjoining villages were also given a patient hearing and their redressal by the Army and the civil administration was assured, he said.

Lt Gen Sachdeva honoured some civil society members who have made commendable contributions in the fields of education, sports, and literature, further strengthening the bond between the armed forces and the populace.

On December 21, four soldiers were killed and three others injured when terrorists ambushed two Army vehicles in the area.

Three civilians – Safeer Hussain (43), Mohd Showket (27) and Shabir Ahmad (32) – were picked up by the Army for questioning following the ambush and a day later they were found dead.