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Advani calls meeting on J&K on March 31
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
March 29, 2003 10:28 IST
Following an increase in terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani has called a meeting on March 31 to review the law and order situation in the state.
Defence Minister George Fernandes, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and army chief General N C Vij will be among those who attend the meeting.
Minister of State for Home Affairs I D Swami told rediff.com on Friday that the meeting would take place at 1600 IST.
"The attack in Nadimarg on Sunday, in which 24 innocent Kashmiri Pandits died... and the way [terrorists recently] overran a police post in Hind village in Udhampur district clearly indicates that they have reworked their strategy," he said.
"Earlier, they used to appear in groups of three or four. Now they are coming in large number -- twenty or more at a time. The time has come to rework our strategy as well," he said.
Asked why the senior superintendent of police, Pulwama, did not take action when the villagers of Nadimarg warned him of a terrorist attack three days before it happened, he said the matter would be looked into.
"The [J&K] director general of police should be the best person to answer this question," he said.
The minister said that the war in Iraq had come as a boon for Pakistan, which was stepping up infiltration.
"Since America is involved in a war in Iraq, there is no pressure on the Pakistani government to adhere to its commitments made to the international community. The Pakistanis are trying to take advantage of the situation by whipping up violence in the state. We will deal with this effectively," he said.
Asked if the chief minister's "healing touch" policy had proved counterproductive, he said: "If you look at the violence in the last few weeks, it seems to indicate that we need to have another look at the policy of providing healing touch. This policy is not working on the ground."
Advani was upset that the combing operations launched jointly by the army and police had not yielded results so far, a home ministry official said.
"When the police killed a divisional commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Amanullah Mir, in the last week of February, they should have geared up for retaliation. Senior police officers should have alerted the Hind police post about the possible consequences and strengthened the security system. It seems nothing was done. What is intriguing is that till date not a single terrorist who took part in the Hind operation has been killed. The same is true of the Nadimarg incident," he said.