Panel On Troop Relocation To Meet On July 5 In Srinagar
2 July 2007
The Times of India
Srinagar: The second meeting of a panel appointed by the Centre for possible relocation and reconfiguration of troops in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir is scheduled to be held in Srinagar on July five. The meeting would be chaired by Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt and is likely to be attended by Lt Gen S K Sekhon, Srinagar-based Corps Commander, top brass of CRPF and BSF, state police Chief Gopal Sharma and a senior official from the Intelligence Bureau. The first meeting of the panel, announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 30, was held here on May 23 during which the state government had opposed any move for altering the security network in the state. State Chief Secretary C Phunsung has been invited as a Special Representative by the Defence Secretary to the meeting which comes barely three days after Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited the state taking stock of the situation. The Defence Secretary is chairing an expert panel constituted by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 30 to carry out an in-depth assessment of the situation and also determine whether there is any need to relocate and reconfigure security forces. Congress' coalition partner PDP has been demanding thinning of security forces from civilian areas as a 'confidence-building' measure to help solve the Kashmir issue, a move opposed by security forces who fear such a move could dilute their area domination and give a free run to militants in the valley.