May 2006 News

It's Hurriyat's Own Loss, Says Narayanan

22 May 2006
The Indian Express

New Delhi: The refusal of the Hurriyat Conference to participate in the Srinagar roundtable would be their own loss, said National Security Adviser M K Narayanan here today. 'It's upto them (Hurriyat) to decide to be part of the important event. It's their loss if they don't turn up... even if they would like to, it has to be either on May 24 or 25,' he said on the sidelines of an investiture ceremony of the BSF at Vigyan Bhavan. The Hurriyat had not participated in the first roundtable last February. But hopes were raised when the moderate faction of the conglomerate, led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 3 and told him that a decision would soon be taken on the Srinagar conference. Home Ministry sources said that Sunday's attack on a rally in Srinagar was an attempt by militants to derail the peace process. 'There may be more attacks soon in view of the conference,' an official said, adding that adequate measures have been taken to prevent similar incidents. Undeterred, the Centre has decided to go ahead with the programme and the state government has been asked to provide 'multi-layered' security at the conference venue. Home secretary V K Duggal will leave for Srinagar tomorrow to review the security measures. The Srinagar attack has exposed security loopholes, since militants who carried out the attack were masquerading as policemen. A senior CRPF official said it could have been averted had there been an 'authentic identification' system. 'A proposal may soon be made to put in place a system to identify police and security personnel on duty. Yesterday, it was difficult to distinguish the militants from policemen... until the militant pulled out a grenade,' the official said.


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