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More de-induction of troops soon: Vij

By Our Staff Reporter

JAMMU, JAN. 6. The Chief of Army Staff, N.C. Vij, today said there would be further de-induction of troops in Jammu and Kashmir shortly as part of the Centre's policy to normalise relations with Pakistan. A number of battalions had already been de-inducted from the State following the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh's announcement in the second week of December last year.

Talking to reporters here, General Vij said: "The conditions in Jammu and Kashmir are returning to near-normality levels and we propose to further reduce troops in the State. At the same time all steps would be taken to keep the security situation well under control."

Asked whether there was a possibility of reduction of troops from the Line of Control, General Vij

said: "Our divisional commanders will take appropriate decision at the right time by keeping in mind the interests of the country and the security of the people of the State. There is no need to worry in this regard."

According to him, the security situation in the State was showing an improvement, and this was reflected in the decrease of infiltration and the reduction in the number of militancy-related incidents. The Army Chief dismissed reports that his forces had been responsible for false surrenders of militants. "Any surrender involves a number of steps and only then he is given money as part of rehabilitation policy announced by the J&K Government. All these procedural checks have worked out well and any false surrender in the past has been detected. But if there is any room for improvement in the surrender policy, it will be done."

China visit worthwhile

On his recent visit to China, General Vij said: "There have been a number of positives in my visit to China. There is a proposal of working in close coordination in matters relating to counter terrorist operations. At the moment I can say that my China tour was worthwhile keeping in mind the military interests of the country."

The Army Chief who is due to retire in some days said he would settle down in his native Jammu and Kashmir.

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