Troop strength in Kashmir won't be reduced, says Antony

Defence minister A K Antony today on said if there was any reduction of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir it would be of paramilitary troopers as there was no proposal from "people who work on the ground" to reduce military personnel in the troubled state.
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Updated on Jan 21, 2011 02:24 PM IST
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IANS | By, Mumbai

Defence minister A K Antony on Friday on said if there was any reduction of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir it would be of paramilitary troopers as there was no proposal from "people who work on the ground" to reduce military personnel in the troubled state.

"There was some confusion. The announcement that was made was about paramilitary forces," Antony told reporters onboard INS Deepak, a fleet tanker he commissioned earlier in the day.

He said the defence ministry had received no proposal for reduction in military personnel in the state.

"At the present we don't have any such proposal. People who are working on the ground, they will recommend (such proposals)."

Echoing what army chief General V K Singh had said, Antony asserted that the security grid - the Unified Command - in Jammu and Kashmir should take any such decision.

The ground working force, he said, "in Jammu and Kashmir is the Unified Command. They have not recommended (any reduction)," he said.

Antony said there was no contradiction in this regard between the defence ministry and the home ministry that had earlier this month announced a 25% cut in security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

They were talking about the security forces and not the army, he said.

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