More soldiers in Kashmir to seal borders, not to tackle protests: Parrikar

Panaji: The increase in deployment of troops in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir is only for sealing the India-Pakistan border so as to prevent infiltration and not to tackle ongoing protests, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asserted on Friday. "That is for border sealing. We are tightening the border position so that infiltration does not become a reality," Parrikar said, when asked why more soldiers had been deployed in the northern state, which has been facing violence ever since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani. Parrikar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function for the commissioning of the Indian Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel 'Sarathi'. "Protests are the Home Ministry's concern. The ministry is taking necessary action. As you have seen, Rajnath (Singh) ji said the situation is much better than earlier. The army does not act in internal matters unless asked by the local authority. This is the basic norm of operation," Parrikar said. "The local civil administration will have to ask (for) the army there, like it happened in Haryana, where the (Jat) agitation took place. When the local administration called the army in, we went there only then and followed the orders of the local administration. We don't operate anywhere internally on our own," he said.