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Forces disrupting J&K polls will be neutralised: Centre

August 27, 2008 16:03 IST

As security personnel battle holed-up militants in Jammu, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju on Wednesday said forces inimical to India were trying to disrupt the forthcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], but assured that the nation was well prepared to quell and neutralise any problem that may arise.

"The election process is on (in the state) and we expected that there will be attempts to disrupt the process and infiltration is part of that bid. But we are prepared as a nation to quell any problem that may arise," Raju told media persons on the sidelines of a defence seminar in New Delhi [Images].

"Forces that are behind the disruption want to show that they exist. We are taking all efforts to see that they do not get a upper hand and they will be neutralised," he said.

Stating that increase in infiltration and militant attacks were anticipated as this being an election year for J&K, Raju said there may be plans to disrupt the normal process of polling.

"That is why we are aware and prepared. It is unfortunate that this (militant attack) is happening. I hope that it will discontinue in the near future," he said.

Discounting the Amarnath controversy as a prime reason for the trouble the border state faced today, Raju said row had nothing to do with the increase in infiltration or the terror attacks. He said the terror attacks and infiltration bids are entirely to disrupt the elections slated for October this year.

"The Amarnath controversy has happened at a wrong time unfortunately. But it has nothing to do with it (infiltration and terror attacks)," the minister said.

Pointing out that the border with Pakistan was porous at several places, Raju said the terrain was quite difficult to man. But despite the difficult conditions, the security forces of the country managed to stay there, he added.

On Pakistan's breaching the ceasefire agreement to help militants infiltrate into the country, the minister said: "I think we all know what is happening in the border. It is important that we exercise restraint, but be prepared. That's what we are doing."

Assuring that India is taking all possible measures to strengthen the security of the border, Raju said, "Because we anticipated this (infiltration and attacks), we are better prepared."

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