Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has asked the people of Jammu and Kashmir to remain calm and confident of the fact that our security forces could face any challenge.

Complimenting the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for their successful operation against militants in Srinagar on Thursday, Mr. Chidambaram said that the country remains vulnerable to militant attacks, but there was no cause for panic.

Appreciating the alertness shown by the intelligence agencies, Mr Chidambaram said in a brilliant operation, executed with great skill and patience, the security personnel neutralised the two militants without suffering any casualties. They also evacuated nearly 600 civilians to safety.

In a statement issued here on Friday, the Home Minister said that it was noteworthy that the J&K police and the CRPF conducted the operations without calling upon the National Security Guards or the Special Forces of the Army. The two militants who were killed were in communication with their handlers outside India.

``The incident highlights the fact that the country, especially Jammu and Kashmir, remains vulnerable to militant attacks sponsored by forces from across the border. At the same time, our capacity to neutralise a militant attack has also increased considerably. I would emphasise once again that the country, especially the security forces, must maintain a high level of vigilance; but there is no cause for panic,” he said.

Based on intelligence inputs, the J&K police were on alert in Srinagar on Wednesday, January 6, 2010. While they were conducting frisk and search operations, two militants opened fire and then fled into a nearby building. In the initial burst of fire, one policeman was killed and 11 persons were injured. One of the civilians later succumbed to his injuries. The alert J&K police, assisted by the CRPF, immediately swung into action, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Friday said that from the telephonic conversations of the two militants it was clear that they were in constant touch with some people in Pakistan. ``If true, it is matter of great concern that Pakistan was still sponsoring violence whether State-sponsored or otherwise. It must realise that any country sponsoring such violence become a victim one day,” Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said.

India should take up this issue in the international forum, Mr. Ahmed said while condemning the blast in Karachi that claimed several lives. ``There is no place for violence in a civilised society,” he added.

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