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New Indian army chief rules out troop cut in Kashmir

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Srinagar, India, Oct 8, IRNA
India-Kashmir-Army Chief
Newly appointed Indian Army chief has out rightly ruled out any troop pull-cut from Kashmir thus putting all the speculations about troop reduction to rest.

General Deepak Kapoor who arrived here on his maiden visit Saturday was addressing media persons at the battalion headquarters of elite Rashtria Rifles in central district of Budgam where a raging battle between troops and militants had left behind a trail of death and destruction this week.

General Kapoor said that whenever there is peace in Kashmir for some period incidents of violence do follow. "It has become a norm in Kashmir, that semblance of peace is followed by violence", he said.

The army general paid rich tributes to the deceased army officers who died in the encounter in the area recently. "They laid down their lives to prevent militants from making it to Kashmir. They sacrificed their lives for the return of peace and normalcy to Kashmir", he said.

Referring to the 31 hour long gunfight, General Deepak Kapoor said that it was the fiercest of the gunfights during past four to five years. "Friday also the militants made attempt to infiltrate into Kashmir and the vigilant soldiers shot dead three militants", General Kapoor said.

"These incidents indicate that militants are making attempts to infiltrate into Kashmir and carry on militancy related incidents in the Valley. The soldiers are ready for the challenge and are thwarting the attempts of militants to infiltrate into Kashmir. The militants are being killed and not allowed to move into the Kashmir", army general said.

Regarding troop reduction, General Deepak said time is not appropriate to reduce the count of forces deployed in Kashmir. "We can think of it only after graph of violence in Kashmir recedes and peace and normalcy returns," he said.

On asked on his predecessor, General J J Singh's opinion that time was ripe for troop reduction in Kashmir, General Deepak Kapoor said that the previous general's comments were based on the situation at that point of time. "Since past few days, the violent incidents in Kashmir have gone up and one can easily judge that the time is not appropriate for any troops cut," he added.

General Kapoor, who was on first visit to Kashmir after taking over as army chief, said that army has been given a task by Government of India and army would like to complete the task to the best of their abilities. "When Government of India thinks situation in Kashmir is improving, it will decide accordingly about troops cut", he said, adding, "We shall work as per the directions of the Government of India".


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