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Chidambaram sends additional force to Punjab

May 25, 2009 18:52 IST

Terming the situation in Punjab as 'not quite normal', Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the Centre has asked the state government to enforce curfew strictly in all areas where violence broke out after the killing of a sect leader in Austria.

The Centre has also responded to the state's request for additional companies of paramilitary companies by sending 2,500 personnel and a helicopter, he told media persons in New Delhi after assuming office.

He appealed to people indulging in violence to return to their homes and asked the Punjab government to implement the curfew.

"I have seen visuals on television, which indicate that a lot needs to be done. Members of Parliament from the affected areas will get back to us with updates," Chidambaram said, virtually ruling out sending any official delegation to the state.

"We have already provided 14 companies (1,400 personnel) of paramilitary forces. They are already in place since morning. Eleven more (companies) are moving. We have also provided a helicopter to the state government," he said.

Expressing concern over the violence which spread from Jalandhar to the neighbouring districts of Phagwara, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahar, the Home Minister said the situation in the state is "not quite normal".

Additional reportage: PTI

Onkar Singh in New Delhi