Important To Deny Space To Separatists To Maintain Peace In Kashmir: Indian Minister

Important To Deny Space To Separatists To Maintain Peace In Kashmir: Indian Minister

21 November 2013
Authint Mail


New Delhi: Describing the situation in Indian administered Kashmir as a challenge, Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Thursday said it was important to deny space to separatist leaders to maintain calm in the disputed state. “The situation in Jammu & Kashmir continues to be a challenge for us. This year, there has been an increase in targeted attacks on Security Forces resulting in nearly 50 personnel losing their lives,” Mr Shinde said at the inaugural session of the three-day Conference of Directors General of Police (DGPs) in Delhi He said the attacks indicate a ‘nefarious game plan’ hatched ‘across the border’ to demoralise the forces and demonstrate to the people of J&K that the capabilities of militants remain undiminished. “Our forces have responded in right measure and succeeded in neutralizing several militant commanders and eliminating 35 terrorists on the LoC this year. Forces, however, cannot afford to lower their guard, particularly in view of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections next year,” he said. Mr Shinde said a “fine balance” needs to be maintained between firm handling of guerrillas and adequate restraint in public order situations. “This is important to limit civilian casualties and to deny space to separatist elements for fomenting further disturbances,” he said. Shinde said the people of Kashmir will remain undeterred by threats from across the border and the huge voter turnout in the recent Panchayat elections bears adequate testimony to this. “Peace in the last few years has paid huge dividends in terms of increased economic activities and record arrival of domestic and international tourists. The Government of India is committed to the development of J&K by focusing on infrastructure projects such as laying of a new rail line across the Pir Panjal range,” he said.