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Army apologises after Omar complains to PM

Last updated on: December 2, 2010 16:59 IST

Army apologises after Omar complains to PM

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A red-faced Army has apologised to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for a press note criticising his government for removing bunkers, saying it was inadvertently issued by a junior officer.

The apology came close on the heels of Omar complaining to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about Army's public criticism of the state governemnt's policies to deal with militancy.

An Army spokesperson issued a release on Thursday saying that Army commander of Udhampur-based Northern Command Lt Gen BS Jaswal 'has apologised to the Chief Minister of J and K on December one, 2010 to resolve the issue.

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Image: File photo of Army commander of Udhampur-based Northern Command Lt Gen BS Jaswal

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"The State government and the Army are maintaining best of relations and would continue to do so. The Chief Minister and the Army Commander share extremely cordial relations and have best of functional rapport. The entire episode is deeply regretted," he said.

On the press release issued on November 30, which was withdrawn the same day, the spokesperson said, "the views expressed were personal predilections of a junior officer, which were inadvertently issued as a press release.

"The contents were neither cleared by Headquarters, Northern Command or by the Directorate of Public Relations, Ministry of Defence, nor does the Army subscribe to the views expressed," the spokesperson said.



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The controversy arose after the Northern Command issued a press release on the encounter that took place on November 29 on the outskirts of Srinagar city in which three militants and a policeman were killed.

The release claimed that the encounter had taken place only because of removing of bunkers by Omar government, which was "compelled to give in" and that it could have "pleased a few hardline separatists and their ISI handlers".

The state government spokesman had earlier said that "Lt Gen Jaswal spoke to the Chief Minister and apologised for the error and from the CM's side the matter should be treated as closed."

The state government had conveyed to the Centre that the Army command was working at several levels and trying to create a fear psychosis in certain quarters that if Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was revoked in few areas, the situation in the state would deteriorate.

Omar has been demanding withdrawal or amendment to the AFSPA to make it more humane.




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