Army objects to Omar Govt 'demilitarising' Srinagar | india | Hindustan Times
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Army objects to Omar Govt 'demilitarising' Srinagar

india Updated: Nov 30, 2010 19:24 IST

IANS
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The Army has raised a series of questions on the Omar Abdullah government's stance on repealing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reducing troops in Jammu and Kashmir after a shootout on Monday in Srinagar in which a policeman and three terrorists were killed,

In a media release on Tuesday, a spokesman of the army's Northern Command said the incident at Qamarwari took place because of a "demilitarised Srinagar."

"Terrorists have once again shown their presence for the second time in a month as if to remind the world that militancy was still alive and kicking in Kashmir," the spokesman said, adding: "The clamour to remove bunkers and thin out the police/paramilitary presence from the urban areas had compelled the Omar Abdullah government to give in."

"Though it appeared to be a well considered decision, but the latest incident has raised many questions. While it may have pleased a few hardline separatists and their ISI handlers in Pakistan, but what about the common man in the valley," the spokesman asked.

"The state capital has shifted to Jammu (for the winter). Therefore, will the reduced security and visible absence of the security forces raise uncertainties, fear and doubt in the minds of the populace during the long winter ahead?"

"The incident of 29th November cannot be wished away as isolated. Hopefully, it is not a precursor to many more to follow. It has clearly demonstrated the presence of hardline terrorist elements lurking inside cities and towns," the spokesman maintained.

The army also asked: "Why were these terrorists trying to move inside Srinagar during mid-day and that too fully armed? Could they have had a larger scheme in mind? Were they possibly on a strike mission emboldened by the thin presence of the police and paramilitary? Maybe a serious incident was averted. But there is a clear writing on the wall - that reducing security is not the answer," the spokesman contended.