GoI Won’t Withdraw Army From JK

GoI Won’t Withdraw Army From JK

27 February 2013
Rising Kashmir


New Delhi: Stating that it was ready to talk to all groups including separatists, Government of India (GoI) has no plan to withdraw the Army from Jammu and Kashmir while vigil along Line of Control (LoC) has been beefed up. 'No, sir. There is no move to withdraw the Army from Jammu and Kashmir,' Minister of State for Home R P N Singh told Rajya Sabya while replying to a question whether government was contemplating to withdraw the army from the border state. He said the deployment of forces at any point of time is a matter of review of the threat perception at the highest operational levels in the Central and state governments. Singh said the quantum of forces and its deployment would vary according to the overall security situation. 'The GoI is always open to talk to all groups of different shades of opinion, including the separatists who eschew the path of violence,' he said. Meanwhile, Defence Minister A K Antony said the vigil along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir has been stepped up following last month's ambush by Pakistani Army on Indian troops in which two army men were killed. 'On January 8, a Pakistan border action team ambushed our patrol party in Krishna Ghati, Mendhar Sector in which Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh and Lance Naik Hemraj were killed. Lance Naik Hemraj was found beheaded and both bodies were mutilated,' Defence Minister A K Antony told Rajya Sabha in a written reply. He said the weapons of the two army men were also taken by Pakistani Army. Asked whether army has taken up the issue with their Pakistani counterpart, Antony said a Brigade-level flag meeting of both the sides was held on Jan 14. 'The issue was protested through the DGMO talks on January 9 and 16, Brigade Commander-level Flag Meeting at Chakan Da Bagh on January 14 and hotline messages at the local levels,' he said adding the issue was also taken up with Pakistan through diplomatic channels. He said barbaric acts of mutilation of the bodies of India soldiers is unacceptable and against the ethos of soldiering. On efforts taken made by India to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future, Antony said, 'Heightened vigil is being maintained along the Line of Control in J&K and surveillance, including human intelligence and technical intelligence, has been further enhanced.' To another question, he said that 93 ceasefire violations have been reported along the LoC by Pakistan in year 2012. 'There has been 14 ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army since the Brigade Commander-level Flag Meeting on 14th Jan. Pakistan fired small arms, medium and heavy automatic weapons and 82 mm mortars during these ceasefire violations.' He said the ceasefire between India and Pakistan along the LoC and International Border in J&K which came into effect on November 25-26, 2003 has been violated by Pakistan from time to time. 'Government takes all necessary measures to uphold the sanctity of LoC. All confidence building measures are taken. The Army retaliates firmly and appropriately to all such ceasefire violations,” added Antony.