Violence down in JK but no scope for lowering guard: Azad

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Jammu, Jan 8: Even with violence petering out significantly in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said there was no scope for decreasing the number of security personnel deployed in the state.

Reviewing the security scenario at a meeting of Unified Headquarters here last evening, Mr Azad cautioned the security forces against complacency, saying there was no scope for lowering the guard. The Chief Minister was briefed about the situation and the likely scenario by the senior officers of the security and intelligence agencies working in the state. At least 1,092 incidents of violence were observed throughout the state last year, as against 1,667 incidents during 2006, Mr Azad noted.

However, despite sharp decline in violence, the situation did not leave any scope for complacency, he asserted. Mr Azad also underscored the need for greater vigil in view of the ensuing Republic Day, saying ''our preparations should be foolproof.'' The Chief Minister further noted that infiltration and cross border terrorism continued during the year bygone.

Referring to post-Benazir assassination Pakistan, Mr Azad said the changed situation in the neighbouring country called for special attention with regard to intelligence generation and LoC management to foil likely infiltration attempts.

On coordination between various security and intelligence agencies operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Azad said it was commendable and had shown excellent results. He, however, emphasised on the need to strengthen it further to bring complete peace in the state.

Besides Chief Secretary B R Kundal, Army Commander Lt Gen H S Panag, GOC-in-C Northern Command, Mr Kuldeep Khoda, DGP (Jammu and Kashmir Police), Commanders of Army's IX, XV and XVI Corps and senior officers of various intelligence agencies, BSF and CRPF were present.

The last meeting of the Unified Headquarters was held in Srinagar on May 21, 2007.

UNI

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