Home India News Immediate troops pullout in Kashmir ruled out

Immediate troops pullout in Kashmir ruled out


Srinagar : Ruling out an immediate troop withdrawal from Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju has said the time for the army's return to barracks hasn't yet come.

"The situation has not improved as can be gauged by the presence of the army in the state. But a time will come when the army will be withdrawn from the Kashmir Valley," Pallam Raju said.

The minister spoke to the media here Friday on the flanks of a national integration programme organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI).

He maintained that the army was in the state to assist the local government and had been assigned anti-militancy duties only after the situation deteriorated in the state.

"When the situation goes out of control like it did in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast, the army has to be called out," he said.

Asked about the army's decision not to hand over some of its personnel, allegedly involved in killing civilians in fake encounters, to the police, the minister said: "We have taken a serious note of these unfortunate incidents. Fake encounters won't happen again."

About the growing incidents of fratricidal killings and suicides by the soldiers, the minister said: "The stress level of the soldiers is very high as they are fighting an unseen enemy. When they return home after duties, they face problems at home and this takes a further toll."

Pallam Raju also said that the Institute of Psychological Research of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) had come up with recommendations on tackling these problems.

"Some of our junior officers are now trained as counsellors. Better living facilities, more entertainment and frequent vocations are some of the methods through which the menace is now being tackled," he said.