Ensure Discipline, Chidambaram Tells Troops In J-K

11 June 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: With the agitation over the rape and murder of two women in Shopian, allegedly by the security forces, still fresh, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday asked senior officers of the forces to ensure that field officers and jawans strictly adhere to Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) and Code of Conduct for the uniformed forces. Chidambaram was speaking with senior Army, police, BSF, CRPF and Intelligence officials at a meeting of the Unified Command headquarters, that he jointly chaired with J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The Home Minister arrived here on Thursday on a two-day visit. The meeting also discussed re-orientation of troops in the state, law and order situation especially in the aftermath of the Shopian incident, the Amarnath Yatra arrangements and development issues, a spokesman said. As the demand for revoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) gains momentum following the Shopian incident, Chidambaram assured the J-K Government that the modalities of re-orienting the troops would be sorted out step by step. He said the Centre is behind the J-K Government in its endeavour to create a stable and secure environment that is a prerequisite for development. Stating that the duties assigned to the security forces and the police are well-defined, the Home Minister said that while Army and paramilitary forces are tasked to perform security-related duties, the State police should perform all the essential police functions relating to maintenance of law and order. Speaking at the meeting, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said his Government attached highest importance to the protection of human rights. He said directions have been given to all concerned to uphold human rights under all circumstances.