NEW DELHI: Infiltration and violence levels in occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been brought down to “minimum levels”, Army Chief General J J Singh said, hinting at the possibility of reduction of troops. “Situation is fast coming to normal and grounds have been created for a final settlement of these issues,” he said adding, if the present trend continued, it could mean troops going back to their primary task of securing the nation’s border. “Iron fist and velvet gloves policy is a resounding success,” Singh told reporters as he prepares to lay down office in two days.
He disclosed that security forces’ casualties were reduced to one-third of what they used to be few years ago, saying that army had been able to achieve a much higher attrition rate in the battle against militants. “In the conflict-prone areas of Kashmir and North-East, the levels of violence have been considerably brought down. People have rejected terrorism and there is now a wish to lead a peaceful life,” the Army Chief said at a farewell function where he handed over the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee baton to the Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta. “We have been able to overcome the challenge of militants,” he said adding, beyond this, it was not a military problem, but a politico-social issue which was being addressed by the Central and state governments.-SANA