Rumours fly thick in J&K due to large troops movement

Rumours fly thick and fast in Kashmir due to large troops movement

Troops returning from states where elections were held recently: Police

Representative image. Credit: PTI File Photo

A large movement of troops in recent days has led to rumours flying thick and fast in Kashmir that “something big” like August 2019 was going to happen again.

Similar rumours were going agog in Kashmir prior to the revocation of J&K’s special status on 5 August 2019, as massive troop build-up had started to happen 10-days before the colossal decision by the BJP government.

Reports say in the last few days a large number of paramilitary forces have arrived in the union territory with most of them deployed in north Kashmir and parts of Jammu region.

This has led to rumour mongering and from homes to offices, markets to playgrounds and social media, everywhere people are discussing how the Center is planning “something big” like 5 August 2019.

A common rumour is that statehood will be restored to the Jammu region while Kashmir will be divided further into two or three union territories. Another rumour making rounds is that Kashmir Pandits will be given a separate homeland within the Valley which has been their long-pending demand.

Not only locals but high-profile politicians too have joined the bandwagon on social media.

Peoples Conference chairman, Sajjad Lone, who was a minister in PDP-BJP government from 2015-2018 tweeted:  “We want to believe even in rumours rumoured to be rumours. We love rumours don’t we. Last few days has been all about rumours and conspiracies. They say don’t believe a rumour to b true until govt actually denies it (sic).”

 

Tanvir Sadiq, close aide of National Conference leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who was detained along with dozens of high profile leaders in August 2019, said he fears they could be detained again.

“While rumours are flying thick and fast - should we be ready for second semester? MLA’s hostel 2.0?” he tweeted.

However, a senior police officer while dismissing the rumours said, “Some 200 companies of paramilitary forces had gone for election duties to West Bengal and other states. After being quarantined for 15-days in Jammu, they are returning back to their original locations.”

He said some 200 companies of paramilitary forces from J&K were sent to states for assembly elections. “Almost 100 companies have returned and in the coming days more companies are expected to return. They are being redeployed across the UT,” the officer added.

At least 400 (40,000) additional companies of security forces were deployed by the Center prior to abrogation of J&K’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two UTs on 5 August 2019.