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PM takes stock of Kashmir situation, PC says LeT fomenting trouble

HM revealed that LeT is linked to the violence in Kashmir and that security forces have been asked to exercise restraint.

Updated: Jul 01, 2010, 00:28 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Pakistan-based extremist organisation Lashkae-e-Tayyeba (LeT) is fomenting trouble in Kashmir and the government is determined to maintain peace in the state, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said at the end of a one-and-a-half hour long meeting with the PM and other ministers and senior officials.

“The anti-national forces are clearly linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Two militants were killed in an operation on June 25 in Krankshivan colony of Sopore. We believe the militants were from Lashkar. The LeT is active there,” he told a press conference.
He reiterated that the government was committed to restoring normalcy in the state and would extend full cooperation to the state government for the same. He added that the security forces had been asked to exercise maximum restraint, though curfew will be imposed in restive areas for now.

Chidambaram assured that full security would be provided to the annual Amarnath Yatra which began today. He said a decision on Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) would be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

"We have asked the Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah) and other ministers to visit the disturbed areas to take some political action, along with the action taken by security forces," he said.

As the Kashmir Valley continues to remain tense with violence spreading, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called a high-level meeting to review the deteriorating situation.

The meeting was attended by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister AK Antony, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Union Home Secretary GK Pillai and officials from security agencies.

Chief Minister Abdullah on Tuesday made an emotional appeal for peace, vowing to ensure return of normalcy soon and slammed anti-national and vested interests for instigating mobs to resort to violence.

Chidambaram said the prime minister-led meeting "appreciated the statement of Abdullah which has largely corrected some wrongs impressions".

He said he had constructive discussion with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik and discussed issues like Hafiz Sayeed and terror.

On the Naxal attack that killed 27 CRPF jawans in Chhattisgarh yesterday, the minister expressed grief on the incident. He said the forces were deployed by the state government and areas like Narayanpur, where the attack occurred, were susceptible to Naxal attacks.

“Violation of Standard Operating Procedures
(SOP) by security force personnel would be known only after preliminary enquiry
report by DG, CRPF,” he said.
Kashmir relatively calm

After four days of violence and
deaths, Kashmir was today relatively incident-free even as
more violence-hit areas were brought under curfew in South
Kashmir where 3 youths were killed in alleged CRPF firing.

At least 8 people, including 4 securitymen were injured,
as police fired teargas shells to disperse stone-pelting mobs
in Srinagar, Anantnag and Kulgam districts today.

Three personnel of CRPF of 130 battalion and three
protestors were injured in the clashes between stone-pelting
mob and security forces at Sangam, 40km from here, in
Anantnag district, police said.

Violating curfew, people of Kulgam came out on the
streets and staged a protest against the killing of youths.

Police and paramilitary forces fired tear gas shells and
used lathis to disperse stone pelting protestors. However,
there was no report of any casualty, the sources said.

In Srinagar, protestors hit the streets at Natipora and
Batmaloo areas here and staged demonstrations against the
killings that have rocked the valley for the past few days.

Curfew in Sopore and Baramulla and seven police station
areas of Srinagar continued without relaxation while the
measure was clamped in Bijbehara, Mattan, Dooru, Kokernag,
Achhabal, Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Kulgam district
this morning.

Meanwhile, the J&K Public service Commission has
announced postponement of examinations scheduled today and on
July one and two.

While most of the leaders and activists of hardline
faction of Hurriyat Conference, including its chairman Syed
Ali Shah Geelani, have been arrested, moderate Hurriyat
leaders were placed under house arrest since June 28.

-PTI inputs