The BSF is likely to do Road Opening Party (ROP) duties also in certain militancy hit areas and units of Rashtriya Rifles shifted closer to the border in a revamped security strategy in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Border Security Force, which has ROP expertise, will help secure roads to facilitate safe movement of troops to the Line of Control(LoC). The ROP job is currently being undertaken by Rashtriya Rifles.

A proposal for taking out a battalion of (1,000 personnel) from North Kashmir was cleared by the Defence Ministry in consultation with the paramilitary force and Jammu and Kashmir Government, official sources said on Sunday.

The units of Rashtriya Rifles were also being shifted closer to the border amid intelligence reports that Pakistan-based terror organisations would be making desperate attempts to enter into the valley from higher reaches in North Kashmir in the coming months.

It may be mentioned that last year around this time, battle-hardened terrorists of Lashker-e-Taiba had managed to sneak into the Kashmir valley from Gurez and Kupwara and later to other parts of the valley especially Sopore and Tral.

The presence of the Rashtriya Rifles as the second line of defence would help in close coordination among the various units of the Army deployed along the LoC. The BSF had the expertise in ROP duties as the para-military force had bore the initial brunt of militancy in early 1990s.

Another unit of the BSF was also being pooled in for ROP from an Air Force location and was awaiting in-principle approval of defence ministry. The depletion of the force’s strength would be augmented by the Army and in-house security unit of the Indian Air Force.

BSF was being pushed in for the ROP role as certain battalions of the CRPF were being pulled out of the militancy infested areas for their deployment in Naxal-infested areas.

This is in addition to the reduction of 35,000 troops which have been withdrawn from the border state during the reign of the current National Conference-Congress government.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah recently acknowledged on the floor of state assembly that infiltration had increased by 98 per cent in 2009 as compared to 2008.

Moreover, there were inputs indicating that many more militants were waiting across the Line of control (LoC) at different launching pads for infiltration into J and K, he had said.

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