Surge in infiltration 'disturbing', but Kashmir improves: PM | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Surge in infiltration 'disturbing', but Kashmir improves: PM

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2009 17:09 IST
Hindustan Times

The surge in infiltration bids from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir was "disturbing", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday while expressing satisfaction over the "substantial improvement" in the situation in the state.

Addressing a meeting on internal security attended by chief ministers, the prime minister said the situation in Kashmir had seen "a substantial improvement in the past few years".

"Figures of violence have been steadily declining and are today at an all-time low. But there are some disturbing trends on the horizon," he said.

"Levels of infiltration which had come down very substantially have seen a surge this year," the prime minister said, adding the infiltrators were "more battle-hardened, better equipped, and in possession of sophisticated communications".

Manmohan Singh said terrorists had expanded their area of operation "far beyond the confines of Jammu and Kashmir" to "all parts of our country".

The prime minister said the militant outfits were reviving their over-ground activities and attempts were being made to "link isolated and unconnected incidents - such as Shopian - to create an impression of a groundswell of anti-national feeling".

"All this shows that efforts to disturb the current status quo have not been given up," he said.

Agitational politics has seen a rise in the Kashmir valley in the past few months triggering a new spate of shutdowns and protest demonstrations. It all started with the May 29 rape and murder of two women in south Kashmir Shopian that triggered valley-wide protests bringing the state on a standstill for almost three weeks in June this year.

Separatist groups and some mainstream political parties have alleged that security forces are behind the crime, which Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has admitted was initially "badly" handled by the state administration.