‘Insurgents may create trouble during Kashmir polls’

July 3rd, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) Violence has declined by 50 percent in Jammu and Kashmir but insurgents could still create trouble in the run up to the October assembly elections in the state, Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor said Thursday. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir have become fed up with violence and are seeking the return of normalcy. There have been a 50 percent decline in violence as a result of an effective counter-terrorism grid in the hinterland,” Kapoor said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses here.

Terming the assembly elections as the “benchmark of Kashmir’s return to normalcy,” Kapoor said: “Elections have to take place in a peaceful environment and the possibility of insurgents creating trouble cannot be ruled out.”

According to the army chief, the surge in tourism and other indicators of normalcy were a manifestation of the aspirations of the common Kashmiri people for a peaceful and prosperous life.

“The situation in Kashmir is showing definite signs of improvement notwithstanding the recent land transfer issue. Last year nearly 197,000 people had visited the Amarnath shrine in the first two weeks and the figure has swelled to 317,000 this year,” Kapoor added.

Kapoor also said that the army’s focus will be on conducting surgical and professional operations based on hard intelligence, ensuring minimum collateral damage.

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