Srinagar (NVI): The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today ordered immediate withdrawal of more than 10,000 security forces personnel from Jammu and Kashmir, who were deployed in the erstwhile state prior to last year’s August 5 announcement on rollback of article 370.
The MHA in its order sent to Advisor to the Administration of J&K UT, Commissioner Secretary, Administration J&K UT and Director General of Police J&K, Dilbagh Singh, stated that the deployment of Central Armed Forces in J&K has been further reviewed by the ministry.
“It has been decided to withdraw 100 Companies of CAPFs with immediate effect from J&K and revert them back to their respective locations,” reads the MHA order.
A paramilitary force company generally comprises 100 to 110 men, which means over 10,000 forces personnel will be withdrawn from the UT. Of the 100 companies that are being pulled out of J&K, 40 companies are from CRPF, 20 from BSF, 20 SSB and 20 from ITBP.
At least 40,000 additional troops were deployed across J&K prior to last year’s announcement on the abolition of Article 370 under which the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was given a special status. After the Centre’s historic move on revoking the special status to merge the erstwhile state into the national mainstream, J&K was bifurcated into town Union Territories- J&K UT and Ladakh UT.
The additional forces were deployed for almost four months amid spontaneous shutdown—from August to November 2019 on all streets and sensitive places, to contain possible protests and to deal with the law and order issues.
However, they were later retained and now after over a year, MHA today decided to withdraw 100 companies. Sources revealed that 300 additional forces continue to remain stationed in Kashmir and their withdrawal will depend on the second review by the Home Ministry scheduled to be held next month.