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Azad warns those asking for troops withdrawal

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
March 31, 2007 00:07 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday cautioned those demanding the premature withdrawal of troops before peace prevails in the state.

Azad, while condemning the brutal murder of five civilians by militants, said the incident is an eye opener and a lesson.

The chief minister said from the time he took over the reins of the state, he advised security forces to deal militancy with determination but at the same time avoid any human rights violations.

"I never remained silent when cases of human rights violation came to my notice. The action which followed is known to everyone."

He hoped that those who demand the withdrawal of troops need to learn lessons from Rajouri incident and now onwards condemn terrorist actions rather than involve themselves in sensitive matters of security."

Azad in a statement, said, 'When I met prime minister in New Delhi I emphasised about non-interference of any political party in sensitive matters of security in Jammu and Kashmir State.'

He said, he had always been maintaining that militancy had not ended in the state yet.

'I believe the militant situation was playing hide and seek and we will not be trapped."

The chief minister said he has requested political parties to ensure that no member is allowed to be part of any committee. He said, rather, the normal deployment and relocation of security forces that is happening usually every time should be, as usual, guided by concerned officers of security, home department and defence who are the best judges for normal relocation and redeployments."

He said that security forces are playing an important role and it is because of their contribution that the graph of militancy has come down.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar