The strength of the CRPF and the BSF also reduced

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Friday that 35,000 troops had been withdrawn from the State. The number of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel deployed for internal duty had also been reduced and the State Police would be in the forefront to deal with law and order.

Replying to a marathon discussion on the demand of grants for departments under him in the Assembly, Mr. Abdullah said that his government was working towards improving the process of normalisation through many measures but did not publicise it much.

The withdrawal of troops would continue in accordance with prevalence of peace.

He said that the track record of his government's last one year was testimony to his commitment to zero tolerance and upholding the human rights under all circumstances. “I don't want to count the number of killings and draw comparison of it during various periods. This de-humanises the human tragedy and before me even a single innocent killing is more than huge,” he maintained.

The security forces, he said were sensitised to exhibit extreme restraint while combating militancy. “We want to ensure that there is no loss of innocent life during the operations against militants,” he said, elaborating that damage to the property could be made good but the loss of life was irreparable.

Referring to the charge of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) that he had gone to Delhi requesting for the handing over of the BSF officer and personnel accused of killing the young boy of Nishat, Zahid, the Chief Minister said that for ensuring justice to an innocent and booking the culprits, he was ready to make hundreds of such requests without feeling ashamed. “I will pursue my agenda to protect the human rights and stand like a rock against all rights violations,” he said.

Mr. Abdullah said that the large scale works programme initiated across the State, especially in remote areas by his government could be successfully accomplished when peace returned fast and a tranquil atmosphere was created. “All of us have to work jointly in this direction,” he said, adding that the current atmosphere was more or less better. However, the increase in the infiltration attempts during 2009 affected the security scenario in early 2010. “This aspect is being taken care of”, he added.

On the arrest of stone-throwers, Mr. Abdullah said the elders of various areas had given an undertaking to the police about those arrested and the government was considering their release. He expressed astonishment over the behaviour and approach of the PDP vis-à-vis stone-throwers, saying that people like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Kashmir's Grand Mufti, condemned the practice but the PDP was trying to defend the offenders.

He said the records of the Assembly spoke loud and clear about the PDP's voting against the rehabilitation policy for youth across the Line of Control, in a resolution tabled by M. Y. Tarigami in the House then.

“The rehabilitation policy we are working at provides for dignified entry of those youth who have not resorted to gun and want to live a peaceful life without carrying the stamp of surrender on their backs,” he said, adding that the surrender policy was an initiative of the PDP government.