Contradicting the Jammu and Kashmir government’s announcement that 35,000 troops were sent out of the border State, the Army on Monday said personnel were only relocated as per security demands and that there was no major pullout.
“There is no major troop pullout or withdrawal in the State. There have been redeployments and relocations of troops as per the security assessment from time to time,” Brigadier General Staff (BGS), 16 Corps, Brig. Gurdeep Singh told reporters in reply to a question about troop withdrawal.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had told the Assembly last week that 35,000 troops were withdrawn, their camps closed and they were sent out of the State after the NC-Congress coalition came to power.
Brig. Singh said, “Troop relocation and redeployment is a continuous process and it is being undertaken from time to time. Troops are deployed as per security needs.”
About the proposed surrender policy, he said “the Army is prepared to take up anything. The government is in the process of formulating such a policy. “We had read about this (surrender policy). The government, while formulating this policy, would automatically take into consideration the safeguards.”
Brig. Singh said the Army would ensure measures like screening to prevent inflow of anti-national elements. “There is no threat due to this policy to the Army.”