As curfew was clamped in more areas of Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday hoped that the Army would not be required there for too long and appealed to the people of the valley to observe restrictions. He said the major share of patrolling and law enforcement was being done by the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force personnel. The Army was on standby in case there was need for its deployment, he said.
The home minister said Kashmir witnessed 'two very minor incidents' of violence on Wednesday but today, he was yet to receive any report on the situation.
"The Army was deployed at the request of the government of Jammu and Kashmir. I am not at liberty to disclose where it has been deployed. But I can assure that most of the affected places are still being patrolled and curfew enforced by the state police and paramilitary forces," he told reporters.
His comments, while briefing the media about decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, came as more areas of Kashmir were brought under curfew today.
Underlining that the purpose of moving in the Army was to 'serve as a deterrent', he said, "The Army has been kept ready in case it becomes necessary to deploy them."
Chidambaram said the Army will be in Kashmir "as long as it is necessary" to deal with the situation there.
"But I sincerely hope that it will not be necessary for too long," the home minister added.
He emphasised that the people should not come out of their homes during curfew and pelt stones. "I appeal to the people if Jammu and Kashmir observe the curfew and stay indoors. Curfew is in place for a couple of days. I am sure the government will be able to relax the curfew in a couple of days," he said.
"Parents should ensure that their children remain indoors. It is the responsibility of parents," Chidamabaram said, adding, "It is important that the curfew is enforced and observed by everybody."