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Chidambaram hopeful on Kashmir, pessimistic on Maoist violence

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 05:56:41 PM, IANS

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram presenting the Police Medal for Meritorious Service to one of the officer of Intelligence Bureau at the inaugural session of the DGPs/IGPs Conference, in New Delhi on August 25, 2010.

Fed up of militancy: Majority of Kashmiris respond in a survey Against the prevalent propaganda by the communal forces in India, majority of Kashmiris are not only against joining »

It's not Muslim Kashmir Vs Hindu India

Another teenager dies, Kashmir toll rises to 64

New Delhi: Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday expressed the hope that the government would be able to reach out to protesters in Jammu and Kashmir soon to pull the state out of "the vicious cycle of stone-pelting", but admitted that it would take several years to contain Maoist violence.

"I am afraid Jammu and Kashmir is now caught in a vicious cycle of stone pelting, lathicharge, teargassing and firing, leading to casualties and resulting in more stone pelting," Chidambaram said in his inaugural address to a three-day meet of police chiefs of various states and security agencies.

"It is, however, my hope that in the next few days, we would be able to find that elusive starting point from where we could reach out to the protesters, reassure them of their rights and dignity, restore peace and order redeem the promises made and restart the process of dialogue that will lead to a solution," he said.

"We are concerned that we have not been able to stop the vicious cycle in which the state is caught," said the home minister. "The security forces, however, have been instructed to act with great restraint."

Observing that the conflict with Maoists would be a long-drawn one, the home minister pointed out that "patience is the key" to resolution of the conflict.

"We made it clear (to the states in November 2009) that it would take several years before we were able to contain the CPI (Maoists) and roll back their offensive," said Chidambaram.

"I think the people of India understand - even if the critics do not - that the conflict will be a long drawn one, that patience is the key, that mistakes will be made and the security forces need material and moral support to carry out their tasks," said the home minister.

He regretted the fact that the Maoists had refused to respond to the central government's call to abjure violence and begin talks.

"We have called upon the CPI (Maoists) to abjure violence and come for talks. I regret to say that there has been no direct and credible response to our offers of talks," he added.




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