Jammu, May 2: Describing the killings of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir as a ''barbarous act,'' Union Home minister Shivraj Patil today asserted the perperators would not be allowed to succeed in their aim of driving a wedge between the communities.
''The attacks are aimed at disturbing the ongoing peace process in the state. It is quite visible that some people are not interested in restoration of peace and tranquility and whenever such initiatives are undertaken towards this they try to scuttle and vitiate the atmosphere by doing such acts,'' he told journalists, after visiting site of the massacre in Basantgarh village of Udhampur district.
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and other senior officials of centre and state government including Union Home Secretary V K Duggal also accompanied him.
Asserting that they would not allow the perpetrators of the attacks to succeed in their aim of creating a wedge between the Hindu and Muslim communities, Mr Patil noted that ''such things were not only happening in J&K but the attacks on the Jama Masjid in Delhi and the holy city of Varanasi are also evidence of it.'' He said that ''hard steps'' would be taken to beef up security to prevent reoccurence of such incidents.
''The centre is working out a security system, in coordination with the state government, by which such attacks could be prevented. We will, in tandem with state government, take specific steps all over the state particularly in the remote parts to tackle this kind of situation. For this purpose, proposals like setting up of village defence committees and providing them arms and better weaponry to Special Police Officers (SPOs) are being worked out,'' he said.
To a question, the home minister said there were enough security forces in the state to deal with any eventuality, adding that over a period of time, the violence in the state had come down to some extent.
Responding to a query whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is going to hold talks with the Hurriyat leaders, would heed their demand of demilitarisation in the state in such a situation, he said the government would assess all factors before taking any decision.