Omar hopeful of forward movement on revoking DAA in urban area

New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir ChiefMinister Omar Abdullah today voiced hope that efforts torevoke the operation of Disturbed Areas Act from some urbanareas in the state will gain momentum, besides a reduction inthe presence of security forces in the near future.

Omar said that late last year he had set up two groupsconsisting of Army Corps Commanders of Srinagar and Nagrota,Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police and HomeSecretary to examine areas where the Disturbed Areas Act,which gives special powers to the armed forces, was notneeded.

"Unfortunately at that time both the Corps Commandersand the Northern Army commander were due to be shifted. Nowthe new incumbents are in place. These group will meet andfinalise recommendations in a time-bound manner. I am hopingthat I will have some concrete recommendations to move forwardon the Disturbed Areas Act," he told reporters here.

Asked about the possible reduction in the presence ofsecurity forces in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said all effortswere being made to bring down the footprints of securityforces and to increase the role of Jammu and Kashmir Police.

"This is not going to happen overnight. This is aconstant endeavour of the state government, supported by thecentral government, that more and more role is transferred tothe Jammu and Kashmir Police and gradually we reduce the roleof Army particularly in urban areas and also of the centralparamilitary forces. This is an ongoing process and it willcontinue," he said.

On the possibility of reopening of the 2000 Pathribalincident, where three persons were killed by Army personnelwho claimed that they were militants, the Chief Minister saidthere was no such demand and action would be taken against theguilty on the basis of the CBI investigation.

"The investigation was concluded. The CBI findingsare there. Action has to be taken on the basis of thosefindings. I don''t think there is any demand to reopen thecase," he said.

Omar said he had been assured by both Army chiefGeneral V K Singh and the new Northern army commander Lt.

General K T Patnaik that the issue would be dealt with in atransparent manner and anybody found guilty would bepunished.

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