Army presence can be lowered if situation improves: Omar AbdullahNovember 24th, 2009 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS
Jammu, Nov 24 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said there would be timely reduction in the army’s presence in the state when the security situation normalises. He said though there was some improvement rising cross-border incursions remained a concern.
“There was a massive political clamour demanding demilitarisation. I met the Army chief (Gen. Deepak Kapoor) this (Tuesday) morning and we both agreed that we will have to look at the programme of reducing footprint of the army and giving greater role to para-military forces and the state police,” he told media persons after the inauguration of Balidan Sthambh war memorial here.
Abdullah said the reduction in army would be a political decision but a majority of the people were against it. “People have been coming to me and saying ‘Don’t do this’.”
He said though there was a marked improvement in general security situation in the state, the level of infiltration was higher that last year and “that is our concern”.
“While taking the decision on reducing presence of army in the state, we must keep in mind that it was done in a manner without threatening the progress that we have made (on security front),” he said.
The chief minister said the state police was getting trained by the army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps to take on the job of fighting militants and the task of hinterland security.
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