Chidambaram hints at new beginning for Kasmir peace talks

"We are concerned that we have not been able to stop the vicious cycle in which that state is caught," he said while inaugurating the three-day Conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police here.

"However, it is 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 protestors, reassure them of their rights and dignity, restore peace and order, redeem the promises made, and re-start the process of dialogue that will lead to a solution."

The Minister noted that since June this year, J and K has been caught in a vicioius cycle of stone-pelting, lathicharge, teargassing and firing, leading to casualties and resulting in more stone-pelting.

The Valley was rocked by violence following the death of a teenager on June 11 after he was allegedly hit by teargas shell near Rajouri Kadal area. After that, street protests and clashes with security forces have broken out in the Valley claiming 63 lives.

Chidambaram said the security forces have been instructed to act with great restraint. The situation has not yet returned to normal," he said and added the Centre has acknowledged that a political solution must be found to the problems of the state.
He said Centre has offered a dialogue with all sections of the people of J&K and all political parties and groups.

In his speech, the Home Minister also spoke about the phenomenmon of "saffron terrorism"."...there is the recently uncovered phenomenon of saffron terrorism that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of the past.

He said there was no let up in the attempts to radicalise young men and women in the country."My advice to you is that we must remain ever vigilant and continue to build, at the Central and State levels, our capacity in counter-terrorism," he told the top police officials.

On Naxalism, the Home Minister said Government has called upon CPI (Maoist) to abjure violence and come for talks. "I regret to say that there has been no direct and credible response to our offer of talks," he said.

The Home Minister admitted that it would take several years to contain the CPI (Maoists) and roll back their offensive."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 that the security forces need material and moral support to carry out their tasks," he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will tomorrow address the annual conference being organised by the Intelligence Bureau.

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