Additional Forces Start Leaving Kashmir, Though Slowly

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Security Installations

Mubashir Aalam Wani

Srinagar: In a significant development, a gradual troop-cut has started in Kashmir with at least four to five companies leaving the Valley, first time after the Centre announced to roll back Article 370 on August 5.

According to the Kashmir News Observer (KNO), at least four to five companies of additional forces which means 4000 to 5000 central armed police force (CAPF) packed their bags and have left from Kashmir in the wake of  “improvement in the ground situation.” “ Yes, four to five additional companies of forces have left Kashmir on Sunday. Whether more would leave, there are no clear cut directions,” a top security expert told KNO.

Union government had inducted over 50,000 CAPF ( over 600 companies) in Kashmir ahead of big decision of scarping of special status of J&K and downgrading of the state in to two union territories amid fears that Kashmir may face a massive law and order situation and violent protests.

He said that 20 companies of additional forces that were deployed in various parts of Kashmir  are likely to be taken out of Kashmir. “Of them, 16 are from BSF and four CRPF.”

 The officer said decision about the withdrawal of more companies from Kashmir would be taken in a phased manner, depending on the overall situation on ground zero.  The valley has seen unprecedented tension following the scrapping of state’s special status but luckily for the forces it did not boil into massive protests, contrary to the expectations of the government and the reports of intelligence agencies.  The situation remains volatile but under control, giving opportunity to the government to de-induct some of the forces.

 While the forces faced little challenge on the law and order front, they are facing quite a discomfort due to plummeting mercury. The November has been abnormally cold and some jawans complain their accommodations are not properly equipped with heating arrangements.

The central forces have been working in tandem with the local police to maintain law and order post the abrogation of Article 370. The ratio of central forces in handling law and order was much higher as compared to local police. Majority of the central forces that were inducted in Kashmir were from CRPF.

Sources told Kashmir that as and when situation improves further, more companies would leave Kashmir, even though gradually and in a phased-manner after thorough consultations with the other sister security agencies including Police and the Army. (KNO)

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