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New Delhi, Apr 20 (UNI) The overall security situation in Jammu&Kashmir continued to remain ''fairly stable'' with violence levels down and normalisation of activities evidenced, Army Chief General JJ Singh asserted today.

Tourism activity in ''India's Switzerland'' was more than before and the state administration was now able to carry out developmental activities in the hinterland areas, Gen Singh informed mediapersons here.

Listing the achievements of the security forces in the northern state, the Army Chief claimed to have contained terrorism through ''successful interdiction'' of the militants who, he said, were now resorting to ''softer targets'' -- like lobbing hand-granades in crowded places in the state capital and major towns.

Gen Singh said as a result of better prior information about militant activity, the Army's attrition-rate had improved to eight terrorist-kills per soldier-death -- a ratio never before seen -- which ''gives us further confidence in our fight against terror''.

Besides, the ''people-friendly approach'' and the ''human face'' of the Army as enunciated by Gen JJ Singh soon after he took over as Army Chief 14 months ago had ''borne fruit bringing us closer to the people'', he avverred.

The General attributed the now-achieved closeness between the security forces and the people also to the yeoman service rendered by the troops when the northern state was hit by the 'White Tsunami' early last year and later an earthquake last October.

Similarly, the security forces, the Army Chief said, had succeeded in bringing down violence levels in the north-east where peaceful elections had taken place in Assam recently. ''The large turnout during the polling displayed the capability of the security forces to keep terrorists at bay....'' In Manipur, too, people had regained confidence in the state administration following clearing of areas of terrorist-influence in the southern parts of the north-eastern state, Gen Singh observed.

UNI DG RL GC1926

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