'No Ceasefire in J&K Ahead of Ramazan and Amarnath Yatra, Indian Army Firm Against Terrorism', Says Nirmala Sitharaman
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, May 13: The government on Sunday said that there will be no ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of Ramazan and the Amarnath Yatra. On Sunday, the government formally rejected the call of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for a ceasefire in the state to ease tension during the fasting period of Ramazan.

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while speaking to media said that the Indian Army has to be firm to tackle any terrorism that comes as a threat to people of Jammu and Kashmir. She said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and terrorism has to be eliminated by the Indian Army for which firm action is required.

"Indian Army has to firmly handle any terrorism which threatens the peace and harmony of Jammu and Kashmir as a state and of the rest of country. The army's position is that it has to be firm on terrorism”, Sitharaman said. “There will be no let up on terror. We will take action every minute," Sitharaman added.

To recall, concerned about the present situation in the Valley, Mufti had call for a ceasefire had come in an all-party meeting that happened on May 9. The meeting was convened to discuss the worsening security situation in Jammu and Kashmir amid civilian deaths in encounters. Mufti had earlier said that the government should think of a ceasefire so that the people could get some relief "because they are facing many difficulties due to encounters, crackdowns and search operations.

Reacting to Mufti’s call for a ceasefire in the state, General Bipin Rawat had asked what is the guarantee that there will be that the Army will not be attacked. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is also in alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, too, had rejected Mufti’s proposal.

Earlier this week, Sitharaman condemned the death of a tourist who was targeted by stone throwers in Jammu and Kashmir and said the act was "completely condemnable" and not "very conducive" for tourism in the valley. The Defence Minister also said that the armed forces have to be firm with terrorists and described the Kashmir issue as "very sensitive" and nuanced. "I am sure the chief minister (Mehbooba Mufti) herself is keen on getting more tourists to Kashmir because that will also help in restoring normalcy. So, if that has been a stated desire, for a stone pelting incident to have hurt and killed a tourist, it's certainly not very conducive to that," Sitharaman had said.