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Govt says no terror, external link to Kishtwar violence

Source: PTI
August 12, 2013 22:07 IST
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The government on Monday ruled out any terror or "external aggression" link to the communal violence in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that there will be no repeat of 1990 when Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir Valley.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, speaking in the Rajya Sabha on behalf of indisposed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, said the overall situation in the state is under control even as members warned that the recent events should not be treated as mere inter-community clash as the country's "sovereignty and integrity" is at stake.

The House saw an impromptu discussion on the situation in the state after Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley raised the issue of violence that began in Kishtwar town on Friday last and spread to other areas of Jammu province.

The BJP leader's concerns over the situation were echoed by several other members like BSP chief Mayawati, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (Trinamool), Karan Singh (Cong), D Raja (CPI), V Maitreyan (AIADMK), T M Selvaganapathy (DMK) and K C Tyagi (JD-U).

Responding to the concerns and apprehensions, Chidabmaram said, "it would not be correct to assume or believe that an undercurrent of tension between one community and another is necessarily related to terrorism or to external aggression."

Contending that he was "fairly acquainted" with the "challenges that Jammu and Kashmir faces and consequently, India faces", the minister said, "There is the challenge of infiltration and aggression. There is the challenge of terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the (Kashmir) valley."

Sufficient army contingents had been deployed in violence-hit areas and they conducted flag marches, he said, adding the Centre will extend all help to the state.

Giving details of the incident, he said the situation in Kishtwar was "near normal" and no untoward incident had been reported since August 9.

While noting that violence had been witnessed in some other parts of Jammu province, the minister said, "Overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir is tense but under control."

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