The process to withdraw additional Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) from Kashmir is underway with the government shifting around 4000 paramilitary men out of the Valley so far.
The withdrawal of additional central forces, who were deployed in Valley ahead of August 5 abrogation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories on August, began last month.
In the first phase of forces' withdrawal, the government shifted around 20 companies (about 2000 force personnel) following improvement in situation in the Valley.
The de-inducted CAPF companies of forces include Border Security Force (BSF) and CRPF.
“Owing to improvement in law and order situation in Kashmir, more CAPF companies were shifted out of Valley. So far about 40 companies, who were deployed in Valley on additional arrangement, have been shifted,” a senior security officer, privy to the development, told Rising Kashmir.
Of 40 CAPF companies, 12 were moved from Kashmir on Thursday, sources said.
“The decision on induction or de-induction of forces takes place after review in security situation,” they said adding the situation in Kashmir was under control and peaceful.
On August 5, GoI abrogated Article 370—that accorded special of Jammu and Kashmir—and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two union territories. The Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh officially became union territories on 31 October.
The GoI had moved over 50,000 CAPF personnel to Kashmir to prevent any possible backlash against the scrapping of J&K’s special status and enforced communication lockdown by suspending telephone and internet services in the valley to keep tensions at bay.
The administration restored landline telephones in phased manner followed by restoration of post-paid mobile services. However, internet services and prepaid mobile services continue to remain suspended since August 5.
There were apprehensions in the security grid that the August 5 decision might stoke large-scale protests and clashes in the Valley.
The CAPFs were deployed across Kashmir along with the Police.
Most of the top and middle-rung separatist leaders have been under preventive custody while mainstream politicians including two former chief ministers – Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti - are under detention or house arrest since August 5.
The incumbent Member of Parliament from Srinagar constituency and three-time chief minister, Farooq Abdullah was also placed under detention at his residence, which was later turned into a subsidiary jail when he was arrested under the Public Safety Act.
The CAPF personnel have been working in tandem with the J&K Police to maintain law and order, and the situation has improved to large extent in the valley where shops, business establishments and transport services were running normally.
Sources said the withdrawal of forces in phased manner would continue based on their requirement at other places in India.
They said the CAPF personnel shifted from Valley were deployed in northeast region and it was necessitated after GoI passed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.