Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday expressed the hope that the Army would not be required in the Kashmir Valley for too long and appealed to the people to observe curfew restrictions.

While a major burden of patrolling and law enforcement was being shouldered by the police and the Central Reserve Police Force, the Army was on standby in case there was any need for its deployment, he said.

“The Army was deployed at the request of the Jammu and Kashmir government. I am not at liberty to disclose where it has been deployed. But I can assure that most of the places affected are still being patrolled and curfew enforced by the State police and paramilitary forces,” he told reporters.

He stressed that the purpose of moving in the Army was to “serve as a deterrent.” The Army would be in Kashmir “as long as it is necessary” to deal with the situation there. “But I sincerely hope that it will not be necessary for too long.”

Mr. Chidambaram emphasised that people should not come out of their homes during curfew and indulge in stone-throwing.

“I appeal to the Jammu and Kashmir people to observe curfew and stay indoors. Curfew is in place for a couple of days. I am sure the State government will be able to relax it in a couple of days,” he said.

“Parents should ensure that their children remain indoors. It is the responsibility of parents,” he added.

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