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Centre mulls bigger role for Army in Kashmir
'No compromise with stone-pelters, anti-nationals'
4/20/2017 11:18:27 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Apr 20: The Central government is understood to have formulated a new policy to tackle protests and terrorism in Kashmir and Army is likely to get a major role. Sources told Early Times that BJP's core group comprising top ministers along with National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval and Army Chief Lt General Bipin Rawat met the PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday and discussed the new plan to be implemented in Kashmir. Insiders revealed that PM Modi has directed the Army Chief and the NSA to look for the ways and means to restore peace in Kashmir. "Centre has made it clear that there would be no compromise with the anti-national elements, stone pelters and separatists in Kashmir, and Army is likely to be given a major role" sources said. They said the new plan for Kashmir would include taking stern measures against the trouble mongers and Army is likely to be a given a free hand to deal with the situation especially in rural areas. "The Army is likely to launch an operation on similar lines which it carried out last year when unrest was at its peak. That operation was named as operation calm down," sources added. Insiders revealed that BJP top brass, which met the PM on Wednesday, unanimously agreed upon the fact that policy of being soft towards separatists and anti-nationals needs to be revisited and state government has to be told to fall in the line rather than go for appeasement. An official said, "We had received the instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to ensure that none of the separatists and the Pak-agents should be spared, and the ones who to foment trouble should be put behind the bars." He said, "Due to political interference law enforcing agencies have to soften their stand and it leads to situation turning volatile." Sources said that MHA has already instructed the law enforcing agencies in Kashmir to seek the Army's help as and when required rather than waiting for central armed forces to arrive. "It has been observed that Army effectively deals with the situation despite not having non-lethal weapons." Referring to the stone-pelter being tied in front of an Army Jeep in central Kashmir's Budgam area on April 9, when polling for Srinagar parliamentary seat was on, the source said, "Had the Army officer not got the stone pelter tied to an Army jeep many lives could have been lost as stone-pelters had taken people hostage inside the polling booth and were planning to burn it." The source said, "Army has been fighting the Pak sponsored insurgency and terrorism since 1990 and its well aware about the pros and cons of the situation. There is every possibility about Army being given a major role to diffuse the crisis in the Valley."
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