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Violence has reduced in J&K: PM

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 23, 2006 16:19 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that certain elements are making 'deliberate attempts' to play up 'stray incidents' in Jammu and Kashmir. He also blamed United Liberation Front of Asom leaders based outside the country with prolonging the conflict in Assam.

Asserting that his government was making every effort to to ensure the all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Singh, while addressing Congress chief ministers, expressed concern at attempts to portray an untrue picture of the state and to prevent the return of normalcy there.

"Inciting people utilising stray incidents and dubious means, involving so-called moral and religious grounds, is taking place," he said, at the inaugural session of the two-day conclave of chief ministers of 14 Congress-ruled states.

"Return to normalcy is being prevented by some elements by carrying out grenade attacks on tourists and on innocent people," he said, and vowed to pursue efforts to find peace both with people of the terrorism-hit state and with Pakistan.

"We see that levels of violence (in Jammu and Kashmir) have come down during the past two years. Infiltration across the Line of Control has also diminished. We are making all efforts to ensure all-round development of the state," he said.

On the northeast, he said the outlawed ULFA was losing support at the local level in Assam while sporadic incidents of violence continued in other states of the region.

"The ULFA faces a dilemma of declining support and morale within Assam and hence a desire on the part of local leaders to hold talks with the government -- as against intransigence displayed by their leaders outside, who remain intent on persisting with violent conflict," he said.

Violence in the northeastern states on the whole had gone down, when compared to past years, Dr Singh said.

"Manipur remains currently the most disturbed -- during the past year, almost 40 per cent of all violent incidents reported from the region were from Manipur. The growing divide between the Nagas and Kukis in the hill district and the Meiteis in the plains is one reason for this," he said.

Observing that the writ of the state government was limited, he said it has become obvious that in dealing with the problems of peripheral states, 'there is need to display much greater sensitivity and adopt a nuanced approach given the unique nature of the peoples that inhabit the region'.

He also asked the government of Manipur to ensure 'equitable' development and care of all regions.

Noting that terrorism, Naxal violence and communal disturbances were three main areas of concern, Dr Singh called for better coordination between the Centre and the states in dealing with internal security issues.

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