The centre’s order for airlifting 10,000 additional troops of para-military forces to Kashmir has fueled high level of anxiety among the people and has also set the rumour mill rolling in the valley.
The move to deploy additional troops has come immediately after the two-day visit of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to Srinagar where he was reportedly briefed about the security scenario in the valley.
Certain valley-centric politicians have also pressed the panic button and are questioning the rationale behind the mobilisation of 100 companies of the central armed police forces (CAPF) by the Modi government.
The arrival of these forces has triggered rumours that the centre might be contemplating to repeal the controversial Article 35A of the Constitution that is considered particularly against the women of Jammu who lose their citizenship of J&K once they marry outside the state.
In a late-night decision on Friday, the Home Ministry ordered airlifting of 50 companies of CRPF, 10 of BSF, 30 of SSB and 10 of ITBP to Kashmir. The order said that out of the 50 companies of CRPF, 9 companies deployed in Delhi for the security of Parliament and Kanwaria shall be replaced by deploying 9 companies of the BSF.
Reacting to the move, PDP leader and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted; “Centre’s decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops to the vally has created fear psychosis amongst the 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”.
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.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) July 27, 2019
Bureaucrat turned politician Shah Faesal also reacted against the deployment of additional troops. He tweeted; “At Srinagar airport the panic is visible. Rumours in view of extraordinary security deployment in Kashmir have scared many tourists away. It is sad that Govt is not doing enough to stop the rumours. No official word so far about what’s happening”.
At Srinagar airport the panic is visible.
Rumours in view of extraordinary security deployment in Kashmir have scared many tourists away.
It is sad that Govt is not doing enough to stop the rumours.
No official word so far about what’s happening or what might happen.
— Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) July 27, 2019
There were reports that the massive build-up was to strengthen anti-terrorist operations in a big way. At least seven terrorists have surrendered before the security forces during the past week.
Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir police Dilbag Singh said that the state government had sought 200 companies of CAPF but only 100 companies have been sanctioned.
The order from the Ministry of Home Affairs directed to the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and DGP of Jammu and Kashmir states that the additional deployment of forces will help in strengthening the Counter Insurgent (CI) grid as well as maintaining law and order situation in the Valley.
Earlier in February, around 100 companies of additional CAPF were airlifted and deployed in the Valley. At that time, the government said the deployment of troops was for the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Around 40,000 additional CAPF were brought in recently for the Amarnath pilgrimage security.
Dilbag Singh said any other motive attributed to the troop induction is only speculation and the additional CAPFs have been sought for strengthening the security grid.