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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 5, 2007
Number of troops in Kashmir linked to violence in Valley: Antony
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Number of troops in Kashmir linked to violence in Valley: Antony

Defence Minister A K Antony today said that the redeployment of the troops in the Kashmir Valley is linked to the level of militancy in the State.

Siachen (J and K), May 5 : Defence Minister A K Antony today said that the redeployment of the troops in the Kashmir Valley is linked to the level of militancy in the State.

Speaking to reporters here, Antony said, "The deployment of armed forces is related to the level of militancy and the stability of level of peace," adding that any decision on the amount of the troops will be in consultation with the State government.

He also said that the assessment of the ground situation is being carried out and only after that decision on the demilitarisation option would be taken.

Antony's remark comes close on the heels of Indian Army voicing their opposition to the demilitarisation of the valley.

On Friday, the General Commanding-in-Chief (GOC) of 15 Corps Lt Gen A S Sekhon had said that the issue of demilitarisation should not be taken with emotions, and any decision on it should be arrived only after carrying out proper research.

At a seminar in Srinagar, the Lt. General said though the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has "improved remarkably" yet the time is "not ripe" to pull out the troops from the Valley.

The Indian Army's opposition to demilitarisation moves comes in the wake of growing debate about the demilitarisation of the Valley that was initiated by People's Democratic Party (PDP) led by Mehbooba Mufti.

Almost two months earlier, PDP had even hinted to pull out of the Congress-led Jammu and Kashmir coalition Government that led to Prime Minister constituting a special committee to look into the issue and submit a report on it.

The expert panel headed by the Defence Secretary and constituting members from Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, the Armed Forces and the J and K Government would determine the possibility of troops withdrawal in the State.

The review committee, on the other hand, would review the application of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) to different areas of J and K.

PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had also called for obliterating the AFSPA.

A high power committee headed by Defence Minister would then take up the recommendations for consideration.

Meanwhile, an IED explosion took place near Sopore today. No reports of any causality have so far been received.

ANI

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