Defence Minister A K Antony today said there had been considerable improvement in the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and it was time to give state police greater responsibility to tackle terrorism, especially in towns.
"There is considerable improvement in the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Time has come for the state police to be given far greater responsibility, particularly in major towns, in tackling the threat of terrorism," he told troops at Satwari Cantonment here.
Flanked by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, Antony said "the handing over of the responsibility must be meticulously planned and undertaken in a phased manner."
Antony said on the request of the Defence Ministry, the Home Ministry had issued instructions to the CRPF to take over the entire responsibility of opening up of roads on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway from January 15 this year.
"This has been done to reduce the visibility of the Army, without in any way, diluting our counter-terrorist grid," he told troops of the Tiger Division after the Unified Command meeting.