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No troops pull out from J&K border: India

India on Monday asserted that there would be no demilitarisation in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 21:28 IST

India on Monday asserted that there would be no demilitarisation in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir even as it assured that the peace process would continue through dialogue.

"There is no question of withdrawal of forces and certainly no question of demilitarisation till terrorism ends," Home Minister Shivraj Patil told the Lok Sabha while speaking on an opposition-sponsored adjournment motion on the massacre of Hindus in Doda and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir on April 30.

He said the government would adopt a multi-pronged strategy on Jammu and Kashmir that would include dialogue with "responsible" individuals and groups. "The peace process will continue," he said.

Denying the charge that the government had failed to protect the people in Jammu and Kashmir's border areas, Patil accused the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "indulging in a dangerous game" by talking about religious cleansing in the state.

Moving an adjournment motion on the issue, opposition leader LK Advani earlier alleged that the government had been "soft" on terrorists, helping them carry out "religious cleansing" in the region. He described the killings of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir as a "sinister design" of the terrorists.

"These killings were part of a sinister design to throw out the Hindu minority groups. These forces that have not been in action have just been reactivated because of the government's approach," Advani said.

But pointing out that the BJP never qualified the killings in the valley as religious cleansing when it was in power, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi accused the party of trying to derive political mileage out of the massacres.

"Please do not try to take political mileage out of it. You are talking about religious cleansing...Please do not play this dangerous game," Dasmunsi said.

Coming down heavily on the opposition, Dasmunsi said the BJP-led government had brought the Prevention of Terrorism Act "to hound our people in Gujarat". "You could not protect the parliament building and you are talking about protecting borders," he scoffed.

"The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) leaders will till the last drop of their blood defend the integrity of the country and Jammu and Kashmir, whatever may come," Dasmunsi said virtually making the opposition benches speechless.

"We have to protect the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We never discriminate them as Hindus or Muslims," he said amid loud applause from the treasury benches.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders alleged that the BJP raised the Kashmir killings through an adjournment motion belatedly "just to scuttle a scheduled debate on Gujarat communal violence".

Six people were killed in clashes while protesting the demolition of a 200-year-old Muslim shrine by civic authorities in Vadodara town of BJP-ruled Gujarat earlier this month.

First Published: May 15, 2006 21:00 IST