Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that the troubled situation in the state had forced him to call in the Army.
Justifying his stand of bringing the Army in the state, the chief minister told a private TV channel that the situation had worsened too much and the security forces were stretched to limit.
“I am sitting on the hot seat and have to take a decision.”
“I take up full responsibility to bring in the Army,” the chief minister said.
“A decision had to be taken seeing the situation and the result speaks for itself,” Omar reiterated when asked about his opinion on opposition’s criticism of deploying the Army.
“Army hasn’t been used so far. It has been deployed only in some peripheral areas.
We are not using the Army in the anti-militancy operations or to engage directly with the civilians,” Omar said.
He said major share of patrolling and law enforcement was being done by the state police. The Army was on standby.
When asked about the present situation in the Valley, Omar said, “The overall situation in Kashmir is good. The situation is returning to normalcy.”
“There have been some incidents, but fortunately all have been settled down,” he added.
Hitting back at the opposition party, Omar said one cannot compare the state with Naxal-affected regions. The situation in the Naxal-affected areas is totally different than that in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Army will stay in barracks till 13th of this month to ensure that no untoward incident happens during the Martyrs’ Day,” Omar said.
Commenting on the all party meet scheduled on Monday, Omar said his duty was to invite each and every party and if PDP wants to stay out from the meet he cannot do anything. In fact, there are more than one party in the state, Omar said.
When asked about the recent reports of the involvement of Hizbul Mujahideen and Hurriyat members in the protests, the chief minister refused to hold anyone responsible for the ongoing trouble. He said not all protests are staged.
The chief minister added, “It’s a wake up call for all of us. I have to learn from such situations. My chips are down but not out.”