Police Being Trained To Play Greater Role Than Army: Omar

24 November 2009
The Indian Express

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the state police is being trained to take on more responsibilities on the internal security front than the troops. 'The state police is being trained by the 15 Corps of Army in Srinagar with a view to preparing them for more responsibilities on the internal security front than the army', Omar, who along with Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor inaugurated the country's highest war memorial here on Tuesday told reporters. Expressing agreement with the view that demilitarization should take place in a gradual manner, he said both the army and the government should now begin exploring ways to reduce the presence of troops in civilian areas and pave the way for the state police and central para-military forces to play a greater role in internal security matters. Pointing out that the army is also looking for a situation where it no longer has to be tasked with internal security responsibilities he said, 'We (army and government) are just ensuring that we do not let our guard down and the improvement in security situation is not disturbed,' he said. However, denying that there was a 'massive clamor' in the state for demilitarisation, he said, 'I can tell you that not only in Jammu but even in Kashmir, when there was talk in some areas of reducing foot prints of the Army, I found people coming to me and asking me not to do it.' Hinting that he was not averse to the idea of gradual reduction of troops from civilian areas, he said, 'The only thing is that both army and government want to do it and we have do it in such a way that security is not compromised.'