Army in Srinagar a deterrent: Chidambaram

As curfew was clamped in more areas of Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday hoped Army would not be required there for too long.

Updated: Jul 08, 2010, 15:09 PM IST

New Delhi: As curfew was clamped in more areas of Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday hoped Army would not be required there for too long and appealed to people of the valley to observe restrictions.

He said major share of patrolling and law enforcement was being done by the state police and CRPF and Army was on standby in case there was need for its deployment.

The Home Minister said Kashmir witnessed "two very minor incidents" of violence yesterday but today he was yet to receive any report on the situation.

"Army was deployed at the request of government of Jammu and Kashmir. I am not at liberty to disclose where it has been deployed. But I can assure that most of the places affected are still being patrolled and curfew enforced by J&K Police and paramilitary forces," he told reporters here.

His comments while briefing on decisions of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs came as more areas of Kashmir were brought under curfew today.

Underlining that the purpose of moving in the Army was to "serve as a deterrent", he said, "Army has been kept ready in case it becomes necessary to deploy them."

Chidambaram said Army will be in Kashmir "as long as it is necessary" to deal with the situation there. "But I sincerely hope that it will not be necessary for too long."

He emphasised that people should not come out of their homes during curfew and pelt stones.

"I appeal to Jammu and Kashmir people to observe curfew and stay indoors. Curfew is in place for a couple of days. I am sure the J&K government will be able to relax curfew
in a couple of days," he said.

"Parents should ensure that their children remain indoors. It is the responsibility of parents," the Home Minister said, adding "It is important that curfew is enforced
and observed by everybody."

PTI