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Home secretary visits tense Srinagar

New Delhi, July 7 (Calcutta Tube) Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai Wednesday left for a two-day visit to Srinagar, where the army was called in following widespread violence and protests against the security forces that led to four people being killed.

‘The home secretary has left for the valley. He will take stock of the situation in Srinagar and will return tomorrow (Thursday),’ an official told IANS.

Pillai will meet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and top civil and security officials in the state, the sources said.

The decision to send Pillai to the tense Kashmir Valley was taken at the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security Tuesday that discussed the the spiralling protests in Srinagar following the latest killings, the sources said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired the meeting attended by Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

Abdullah, said sources, had spoken Chidambaram late Tuesday and sought deployment of the army to assist the civil authorities in restoring normalcy in the valley.

The army was called in Tuesday morning and at least 20 columns of 100 soldiers each staged a flag march in some sensitive areas of curfew-bound Srinagar.

Minister of State for Defence M. M. Pallam Raju said the army would stay in Srinagar to keep peace for as long as it was necessary.

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