Movement of additional troops in Kashmir sets off buzz & rumours

at 4:39 pm
Police book NC district prez for thrashing cop at party office in south Kashmir
(File/Representative image)

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley has been witnessing a large movement and deployment of troops over the last one week, triggering rumours that the Centre might be planning something major in respect of the Union Territory like the one in August 2019 when Article 370 was revoked.

The rumours have put Kashmir virtually on the edge by fuelling anxiety among the people.

The buzz is that the security is being beefed up with additional deployment against the backdrop of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha camping in Delhi and meeting the top leadership of the country, including Home Minister Amit Shah.

The UT administration is insisting that there is no unusual deployment of security forces and that the additional personnel may be visible because they have returned after poll duties in various other states.

Around 300 companies of central paramilitary forces, especially the CRPF, had been moved to various states for duties during Assembly elections and out of those, about 70 companies have returned to the valley, according to officials here.

More companies are on their way back to the valley, said an official, contending that it is only the process of “re-induction” of forces.

A company of a paramilitary force usually comprises around 100 personnel.

Meanwhile, some leaders of Jammu and Kashmir are giving vent to the apprehensions and buzz doing rounds on social media.

“We want to believe even in rumours rumoured to be rumours. We love rumours, don’t we? Last few days have been all about rumours and conspiracies. They say don’t believe a rumour to b true until govt actually denies it,” tweeted Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone.

National Conference leader Tanveer Sadiq tweeted, “While rumours are flying thick and fast — should we be ready for second semester? MLA’s hostel 2.0?”

He was apparently referring to the situation of August 2019, when a host of political leaders and prominent activists were detained on the eve of revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.

Article 370 granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution of India and was in place since 1950.

Significantly, but perhaps unrelated, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane undertook a two-day tour of Kashmir from June 3 to assess the security situation within the valley and on the borders. He also met the Lt Governor and discussed the security situation.