No Deadline For Troop Withdrawal, Omar

1 September 2009

New Delhi: The chief minister, Omar Abdullah, Tuesday said the withdrawal of troops and paramilitary forces from Jammu and Kashmir was an ongoing process and no time frame had been set for it. “It is an ongoing process. At least six Central Reserve Police Force battalions have been removed and two Indian Reserve battalions have been inducted… it is an ongoing process… there is no deadline,” Abdullah told reporters after his 30-minute meeting with the union home minister, P Chidambaram, here. Omar said the state government might change the Standard Operating Procedure for the CRPF. The state and central governments were considering some security-related issues and political initiatives for Jammu and Kashmir, he said, but declined to divulge any details. The chief minister said the issue of two attacks on the CRPF troopers in the Kashmir valley on Monday was raised during the meeting with Chidambaram. Asked if there was any security lapse in the Monday attacks in which two troopers were killed, Omar said initial information suggested that the SOP had not been followed properly. “We did discuss the two incidents involving the security forces. Clearly, some changes in the SOP, which have been laid down, need to be effective. Instructions have been given which need to be circulated down the line. A little more strengthening is required, which is being done,” he said. Omar said the state government had “close level interaction with the central government, particularly the home ministry.” “Especially now, when Jammu and Kashmir is going through a transition from post- militancy to handling the law and order situation,” he said.