Troops deployment a routine exercise: J&K police

Pictorial representation. Photo credit: AFP

Jammu and Kashmir police on Saturday clarified that Centre's decision to deploy additional 100 companies of paramilitary forces in the state was a routine exercise and had nothing to do with the rumours of revocation of Article 35A.

“Reality is that 200 training companies of paramilitary forces were in Kashmir since the commencement of Urban Local Body elections (September 2018). They are performing their duties without any break and were overstretched. Now they will be replaced by these 100 companies and it is a routine exercise,” Additional Director General Police (ADGP) Law and Order Muneer Khan told reporters.

In a sudden move, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) late on Friday ordered the deployment of 10,000 additional paramilitary personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, leaving the valley guessing and on edge. The development follows National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's visit to the valley to take stock of security and infrastructure development in the state.

The sudden deployment of additional forces sparked panic in the valley, with speculation rife about the abrogation of Article 35A.

The former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti while criticising the Centre’s decision, tweeted: “Centre’s decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops to the valley has created fear psychosis amongst people. There is no dearth of security forces in Kashmir. J&K is a political problem which won’t be solved by military means. GOI needs to rethink & overhaul its policy (sic).” 

Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the fact in Kashmir is that there is already heavy militarisation. “So instead of de-militarising, the Centre has sent in more troops and we fail to understand why there is a sudden movement in Kashmir,” he said.
 
However, ADGP Khan said it was just a rumour-mongering and there is no truth in it. “These apprehensions are totally unfounded,” he added.

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