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PM asks Army to guard against civilian casualties in J

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 25: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today (Feb 25, 2006) asked the Army and the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir to guard against civilian casualties during counter-insurgency operations.

Dr Singh was referring to the February 22 incident in which four youth's were allegedly killed by the security forces in North Kashmir's Kupwara district.

"I have asked the Army to take remedial measures so that such incidents do not recur in future", Dr Singh said in his opening remarks at the first-ever roundtable conference on Kashmir here.

However, Dr Singh asserted that the Armed Forces were 'trying their best' to improve the situation and there had been an overall improvement on the ground.

Terming the incident as 'unfortunate', he said the Armed Forces never had 'such intention'.

Expressing grief over the incident, the Prime Minister said he was grieved by the incident and at the loss of innocent lives.

"I fully sympathise with the sentiments of the people who are hurt by this incident", he added.

Life remained crippled in the Kashmir valley for the second day today as business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads due to a general strike in protest against the incident.

UNI

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