Government on Monday ruled out any terror or external link to the violence in Jammu and Kashmir even as members in the Rajya Sabha warned that the recent events should not be treated as mere inter-community clash as the country's "sovereignty and integrity" is at stake.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, speaking on behalf of indisposed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, said the overall situation in the state was under control and asserted that the repeat of 1990, when Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir Valley, would not be allowed.
The House saw an impromptu discussion on the situation in the state after Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley raised the issue of violence that began in Kishtwar town on Friday last and spread to other areas of Jammu province.
The BJP leader's concerns over the situation were echoed by several other members like BSP chief Mayawati, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (Trinamool), Karan Singh (Cong), D Raja (CPI), V Maitreyan (AIADMK), T M Selvaganapathy (DMK) and K C Tyagi (JD-U).
Responding to the concerns and apprehensions, Chidabmaram said it is not correct to assume that the undercurrent of tension between one community with another is linked to terror element or external aggression.
"There is a challenge of infiltration. There is a challenge of terrorists. There is also challenge of undercurrent of tension between one community with another," he said, adding the Centre will extend all help to the state.
Giving details of the incident, he said the situation in Kishtwar was "near normal" and no untoward incident had been reported since August 9.
While noting that violence had been witnessed in some other parts of Jammu province, the minister said, "Overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir is tense but under control."
He said sufficient army contingents had been deployed in violence-hit areas and they conducted flag marches.
"The central government will extend all support to the state government to maintain law and order and ensure peace and harmony in the state," Chidambaram said, adding the state government would be asked to make it a "credible inquiry".
On fears that there could be another exodus like in 1990, he asserted, "We