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Chidambaram reviews security situation in Kashmir

October 31, 2010 18:59 IST

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in meetings with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and top officials, especially in view of the visit of US President Barack Obama to India this week.

Chidambaram, who arrived in the north Kashmir town of Baramulla from Kargil in Ladakh region, took stock of the situation in Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara -- the three districts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Valley which witnessed violent protests during the past four months.

Top officials of the state administration, police, CRPF and Army also discussed with the Home Minister the issue of infiltration by militants before the onset of winter at the meeting in Baramulla, 55 km from Srinagar, after which Chidambaram had a brief one-on-one discussions with the Chief Minister.

They said the Home Minister and the Chief Minister reviewed the overall security scenario in the state with particular reference to the upcoming visit of Obama beginning November 6.

Home Secretary G K Pillai has said that there was no specific terror threat in connection with Obama's visit, but militants may try to create disturbance during his India tour to get publicity, the way they did in 2000 when President Bill Clinton was in the country.

"That's the type of fear that we have that innocent civilians will be killed and then the blame would be put like the last time on the Indian Army. All indications are that the propaganda machinery would be out to do the same. Therefore, we are being careful," he has said.

Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists had carried out a massacre of 36 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora in south Kashmir on the intervening night of March 19-20, 2000 when Clinton was on his first state visit to India.

Sunday's meeting in Baramulla was attended by Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda, Special Director General of CRPF, General officer Commanding of 19 Infantry Division and Inspector General of Police Kashmir Shiv Murari Sahai.

The other police officers to attend the meeting included SP Baramulla M A Untoo, SP Sopore Mohammad Altaf Khan, SP Kupwara V K Birdhi and SP Handwara Rafiq Vakil. The Deputy Commissioners of the three districts also attended the meeting, the sources said.

The Home Minister also met civilian delegations in Baramulla including those of Congress, National Conference, Fruit Growers Association, Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee and Bar Association, Tangmarg, they said.

Chidambaram also drove to parts of Baramulla town, where a strike had been called by hardline Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
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