Centre wants CRPF to play secondary role in Jammu and Kashmir: Chidambaram

June 11th, 2009 - 11:40 pm ICT by ANI  

P. Chidambaram Srinagar, June 11 (ANI): Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said that the Central Government wants the paramilitary forces to play only a secondary role in Jammu and Kashmir State.

Chidamabaram, during a high-level meet held at the Unified Headquarters, however, said that whatever was being planned could not be done overnight and the issue would be reviewed after six weeks.

“We would like to take small, baby steps one by one and no great leap in Kashmir,” Chidambaram said.

The state police should play a primary role in the state while the paramilitary forces should don a secondary role, Chidambaram said.

During the meet, a decision was taken to launch an exercise, which should pave the way for the Jammu and Kashmir police taking over the primary role and gradually replacing the Central Reserve Police Force.

The Unified Headquarters headed by the Chief Minister comprises all senior officials of Police, Army, Central Paramiltary Forces, state government and intelligence agencies operating in the state.

During the meet, issues comprising reorganisation and reorientation of the Central Paramilitary forces, especially CRPF, in the militancy-hit border state and gradually handing over their duties of guarding vital installations and protecting VIPs be given to the State police were discussed.

The Union Home Minister’s today’s remarks came up in line with the promise made by the chief minister Omar Abdullah on assuming office that the paramilitary forces should have a lesser role in the state.

Chidambaram, who arrived in Srinagar on Thursday morning on a two-day visit to the state, made an on-the-spot assessment of security situation.

Chidambaram’s ongoing visit to J and K is his first visit here after assuming charge as the Home Minister of the country in the new term of the UPA Government.

Addressing the meeting, Omar Abdullah said he was grateful to central paramilitary forces and police for countering insurgency but cautioned that utmost care should be taken in ensuring there were no human rights violation in the process.

The Home Minister, who heads a team of senior officials, will take stock of reports of infiltration that has taken place in the state from the Army officials, including the top-brass of Srinagar-based 15 Corps.

According to a state government report, nearly 200 militants have managed to infiltrate in the recent past.

Security arrangements for the annual Amarnath Yatra, which is scheduled to begin on June 15, also figured in the Home Minister’s discussions with the state government.

Chidambaram’s visit to the state comes after a three-day tour by Special Secretary (Internal Security) Raman Srivastava during which he met senior officials of the state government, the Army, the central para-military forces and the Amarnath Shrine Board. (ANI)

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