Omar snubs army, says situation not alarming J&K | india | Hindustan Times
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Omar snubs army, says situation not alarming J&K

india Updated: Jul 19, 2012 19:06 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday played down the alarmist warning issued by the Indian Army about heightened militant activity and their number in Kashmir two days ago.

"The word alarming should not be used. If the situation is alarming, that means there is failure of somebody. They (the army) should talk about that also, as to whose failure it is," said Omar, on the sidelines of presidential polls held at Srinagar's assembly complex on Thursday.

Two days ago, 15 Corps General Officer Commanding Lt General Om Prakash had warned of increase in militants' footprint in the valley, pegging the number at around 300. In 2011, the number was around 119, according to the state police.

"There are 280-300 active militants in Kashmir...Our inputs suggest that there are 550-600 militants waiting at launching pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The mentors of militants are carrying out regular reconnaissance from forward posts, looking for opportunities so that militant could be sneaked into the Valley," Prakash had said. But, he was quick to add, "situation was under control".

Unhappy with the army's statement, Omar, who is also chief of Unified Command Headquarters (UCH), representing all security agencies in the state, said, "Tourists are coming to Kashmir and the government activities were in full swing. There is nothing like alarming."

The chief minister had chaired a UCH meeting last week. "Nothing of this sort came up in the meeting," he said.

The state police also played down the new figures issued by the army.

"There are infiltration attempts by militants. Some numbers might have added up. But many militants were neutralized too. I don't think the number would be much higher than last year's figures," Kashmir inspector general of police SM Sahai told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday.