Today's Paper

'No move for ceasefire in J&K'

GUWAHATI NOV. 9. The Defence Minister, George Fernandes, said here today that there was no move to offer a ceasefire to militants in Jammu and Kashmir during the ongoing month of Ramadan.

"The Government has no plan of offering a ceasefire to militants in the State in view of Ramadan," Mr. Fernandes, who was on a day-long visit, told reporters.

To queries on the ceasefire offered by the Centre last year, he said that instructions has been given to the Army then not to initiate any action against the militants unless they struck first. Mr. Fernandes said the Government was deeply concerned over the presence of the Al-Qaeda in Bangladesh and the Union Home Ministry was taking adequate steps to deal with any eventuality.

India's border with China was well guarded. "The Sino-Indian border is safe and every inch of our territory is well protected and guarded.''

Security along India's borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan had to be further strengthened to prevent infiltration of militants. On the Assam Chief Minister's claim that the Indo-Bhutan border was not protected leading to the recent massacre there, Mr. Fernandes said the Centre was aware of the problem and the Home Ministry would take necessary measures there. — PTI

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