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Monday, December 26, 2016

Good for PDP, bad for BJP: Centre orders withdrawal of 40 CRPF companies from J&K

Officials quote ‘improvement in situation, deployment for Punjab, UP elections’ as the reason

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


JAMMU, Dec 25: With the situation improving in Kashmir valley and the Assembly elections in Punjab and UP drawing nearer, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered withdrawal of 40 CRPF companies from Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a communication received in the offices of the top Police and paramilitary officers in J&K on December 23, Government of India has ordered withdrawal of 40 companies of CRPF with effect from January 2, 2017. It has not specified the reason or purpose but emphasised that the paramilitary personnel of Punjab, UP, South India and North East based battalions should be withdrawn from J&K in the first phase of relocation.

Officials unwilling to being identified revealed to STATE TIMES that an exercise had immediately begun to identify and withdraw the CRPF personnel who had been specially deployed in J&K for strengthening the law and order bandobust in the wake of the summer turbulence, triggered by the Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter on July 8. Thousands of the paramilitary personnel have already been withdrawn or immobilised after getting injured in the street turbulence for around five months in the Valley.

Even as the officials claimed that withdrawal of the 40 companies of CRPF from J&K was sequel to “improvement of law and order situation in the Valley besides security arrangements for some States, particularly Punjab and UP, politicians affiliated to the ruling outfit Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) insisted that the exercise had been launched on sustained insistence from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

“This will come as a short in the arm in PDP as we can claim credit that the forces involved in killing of 90 persons and causing fractures and injuries to over 10,000 Kashmiris were being recalled from the Valley. This is part of the demilitarisation we have been demanding. This is good news for us as Mehboobaji has struggled a lot for it”, said a PDP leader. “A number of the camps have been closed down. CRPF has been relocated from different government and public building including a major educational institute lately in Habbakadal-Fatehkadal area in Srinagar. Amar Singh Club and Indoor Stadium are also being cleared of the CRPF in near future”.

Withdrawal of the 40 CRPF companies from J&K could come as a breather for PDP that has encountered unenviable conditions after allying with BJP for formation of the coalition and the Government in 2015.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

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