The Central government on Wednesday announced an order to retract 10,000 paramilitary forces personnel from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect. These forces were moved to the Union territory last August anticipating backlash as the center was to scrap the state’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories—J&K and Ladhak.
The Union Home Ministry decided after reviewing the situation in the valley whether the deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces or CAPFs in the union territory should continue or not.
“It has been decided to withdraw 100 Coys of CAPFs with immediate effect from J&K and revert to their respective locations,” the order read.
The government expected some sort of disturbances after the abrogation of Article 370 last year in J&K forcing them to deploy the paramilitary forces to quell any contingency.
It was in last August Jammu and Kashmir were placed under a strong security net and precautionary measures were taken by imposing several prohibitory orders like banning large gatherings, withdrawal of phone and internet services, and detention of hundreds of political leaders. Now, after one year the situation is much under control.
As per the order, a total of 40 companies of the CRPF and 20 each of the CISF, the BSF and the Sashastra Seema Bal, will be withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir by this week.
Even in May, the home ministry had called back 10 CAPF companies from Jammu and Kashmir. A CAPF company comprises of around 100 personnel.
The process has been gradual over the last months with regular evaluation of security development. However, despite the latest withdrawal of forces, some security forces will remain in the Valley.
“The units that are being withdrawn are deployed both in Jammu and Srinagar. It was felt that the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist grid is intact in the UT and these additional units that were sent in last year can be de-inducted giving them the much-required rest, recuperation and training,” said a senior CAPF officer.
The CRPF will continue to have a strength of about 60 battalions (each battalion has 1,000 personnel) in the Kashmir Valley alone. To give them company there will be some other units of paramilitary troops for now.