Violence in Kashmir down by 50 pc, militancy persists: Antony

November 14th, 2007 - 8:18 am ICT by admin  
“As compared to last year, I am glad to inform you that violence level has come down considerably. To be accurate, the violence level has come down by 50 percent. The only concern is militancy is continuing even now,” said Antony.

Addressing Coast Guard (CG) personnel after participating in an investiture ceremony here, Antony promised measures to improve the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and said that the security forces would vacate schools, hostels and hospitals in the State by November 30, as the situation in the State is improving.

Antony also accused Pakistan without naming it as being responsible for cross-border terrorism and infiltration in Kashmir.

“Ceasefire in the border areas is continuing for the last three years. Terrorists and militants are still coming from across the border. They are gaining support from across the border, otherwise things by and large are improving in Kashmir,” said Antony.

Defence experts estimate that there are between 400,000 and 500,000 troops in Kashmir — making it one of the world’s most militarised regions - with many camping in schools, hospitals, and other private and government buildings.

Congress-led-UPA has been under immense pressure from J-K ruling coalition partner, the People’s Democratic Party, which has frequently threatened to bring down the State government if troops are not withdrawn from populated areas. (ANI)

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