June 30, 2010 6:56:16 pm
Firmly backing the state government in dealing with the violence in the Kashmir valley,the Centre on Wednesday said that anti-national forces fomenting trouble were clearly linked to Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT).
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the situation in the Valley which has witnessed stone-pelting and attacks on security forces for the past six days during which five persons have lost their lives when fired upon by security personnel. Home Minister P Chidambaram,Defence Minister A K Antony and top officials were present.
The Centre’s approach to the situation is two-pronged,the security forces should exercise maximum restraint but people should not violate the curfew wherever it has been imposed.
“We will support the state government in restoring the law and order situation. I hope the situation will come under control in the next few days,” Chidambaram told a media briefing here.
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Asked who were the anti-national elements involved in the trouble,the Home Minister said the “anti-national elements are clearly linked to LeT which is active in Sopore area.”
Two militants belonging to LeT were killed in an operation in the Sopore area few days ago,he pointed out.
The meeting appreciated the statement of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah yesterday appealing for calm and asking people not to allow their children to violate the law.
“The Chief Minister’s statement has been reasonable,clear and firm. We have instructed the para-military forces to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with stone-pelters and also asked the Chief Minister and his ministers to visit the disturbed areas,” Chidambaram said.
Referring to the annual Amarnath pilgrimage that commences on Thursday,the Home Minister said that the government was committed to providing full protection to the pilgrims.
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