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Army not to cut down forces in J and K

New Delhi: On a day Home Secretary G K Pillai hinted at a 25 per cent reduction in security forces` strength in Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief General V K Singh on Friday said they do not not feel the need to "cut down" their forces in the state.

He also said it will be ensured that "extra pressure" is not put on his "already-stretched" deployments.

"We have not yet felt that we have to cut down our forces. If they want to cut down para-military and police forces, I won`t say anything…

"So when that is done, it will be ensured that extra pressure is not brought on our already-stretched deployments there," Singh told a press conference on the eve of Army Day.

Maintaining that Army was not aware of any troop reduction plans, the Army chief said he was sure that any step in this direction would be taken in consultation with the Unified Command headquarters operating in the state.

The security forces operating in the state work under a Unified Command, which is headed by the State Chief Minister.

He was responding to a question on Pillai`s statement and whether the Army felt that the situation had improved to an extent that the troops` presence could be reduced.

Declining to make any direct comments on Pillai`s remarks, Singh said the Army had deployed its troops in the state as per the requirements on the Line of Control and other areas.

"Same way in the hinterland, some Army columns are deployed to maintain peace and counter terrorism. We have not yet felt that we have cut to down our forces. If they want to cut down paramilitary or police forces, I won`t say anything," he added.

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