`Army not to cut down forces in J&K`

Army Chief contradicts govt saying no need to cut troop level in Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi: On a day Home Secretary GK
Pillai hinted at a 25 percent reduction in security forces`
strength in Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief General VK Singh on Friday said they do not not feel the need to "cut down" their forces in the state.

He also said it will be ensured that "extra pressure"
is not put on his "already-stretched" deployments.

"We have not yet felt that we have to cut down our
forces. If they want to cut down para-military and police
forces, I won`t say anything...

"So when that is done, it will be ensured that extra
pressure is not brought on our already-stretched deployments
there," Singh told a press conference on the eve of Army Day.

Maintaining that Army was not aware of any troop
reduction plans, the Army chief said he was sure that any step
in this direction would be taken in consultation with the
Unified Command headquarters operating in the state.

The security forces operating in the state work under
a Unified Command, which is headed by the State Chief

He was responding to a question on Pillai`s statement
and whether the Army felt that the situation had improved to
an extent the that the troops` presence could be reduced.

Declining to make any direct comments on Pillai`s
remarks, Singh said the Army had deployed its troops in the
state as per the requirements on the Line of Control and other

"Same way in the hinterland, some Army columns are
deployed to maintain peace and counter terrorism. We have not
yet felt that we have cut to down our forces. If they want to
cut down paramilitary or police forces, I won`t say anything,"
he added.


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