Scare As New Deployments Details Storm Social Media

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SRINAGAR: Commentary on social media about some constitutional interventions, not attributed to any source in the state or the central government, has triggered a sort of scare. The decision about deploying additional paramilitary men has added to the tensions.

The situation arose within days after the NSA and the top sleuths of the intelligence agencies visited Srinagar. Their visit was followed by the President Ram Nath Govind’s visit to preside over the twentieth-anniversary function of the Vijay Diwas.

A file image of security deployment in Kashmir

“Centre’s decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops to the valley has created fear psychosis amongst people,” former state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter. “There is no dearth of security forces in Kashmir. J&K is a political problem which won’t be solved by military means. Government of India needs to rethink and overhaul its policy.”

Kashmir has remained by and large peaceful and no new law and order situation emerged in the last many months. The Amarnath yatra is peacefully in progress and a record number of pilgrims have paid their respects at the cave shrine in south Kashmir. Home Ministry sources have stated that additional deployments were being made to strengthen “counter-insurgent grid” as well as maintaining law and order in Kashmir. An order, that went viral on social media, last night detailed which companies will be taken from which place.

Earlier on February 24, around 100 companies of central paramilitary forces were airlifted and deployed in the Kashmir Valley.

Late on weekend, the officials started downplaying the reports. “Reality is that 200 training companies of paramilitary forces were in Kashmir since the commencement of Urban Local Body elections,” Additional DGP Munir Ahmad Khan was quoted saying. “In the first, 100 companies will replace the training companies and in the next phase, another 100 companies will replace the rest of the training companies. These apprehensions related to Article 35A are totally unfounded.”

Top CRPF officials have also termed the inductions as routine.  “Induction (of forces) is a continuous process and as and when the need is felt to strengthen the law and order grid and also anti-militancy front (more forces are inducted),” IG CRPF Dr Ravideep Sahi told reporters on the sidelines of a function here in connection with the raising day of the paramilitary forces. “In the past, we also had an induction. It is a routine induction and nothing special in it,” he said.

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