State asks Centre for more troops

CRPF companies were shifted for LS polls

The State government has requested additional troops from the Centre to firm up its security formations in the wake of the decision to revoke Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir. Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta made the request during a video conference with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Senior officials said six companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were already pulled out from Naxal-affected Gadchiroli for deployment in the tensed Jammu & Kashmir region around July 25, and needed to be replaced. Besides the 5,500 men of the Gadchiroli police, the anti-Naxal operations have been getting assistance from 30 companies of the CRPF and 16 of the SRPF.

During the Lok Sabha polls, the State committed 20 companies of the State Reserved Police Force (SRPF) and CRPF at 1,076 sensitive polling booths. As many as 600 companies of the CRPF and the SRPF — of 135 men each — from various States were pooled in to provide cover during the elections.

Meanwhile, an advisory from the North Block, issued soon after the announcement on Monday, said State governments must take special care to ensure safety and security of residents of Jammu & Kashmir. “Adequate publicity must be given to the measures taken by the State governments to inspire confidence in the sections concerned and to sanitise the public against any mischief or breach of peace,” the advisory said.

Senior officials present in the meet said Mr. Gauba has requested State governments to ensure there is no repeat of a post-Balakot like situation, when there were several reports of students from Jammu & Kashmir being harassed. The States have been asked to get in touch with college and campus representatives to ensure these students are kept in the loop on preventive measures. “If the student federation or the campuses report any harassment, we will move in to provide cover. We will also monitor social media,” a government official said.

The State is also looking to hold elections in college campuses in in September while the Assembly elections are slated to be held in the third week of October, both of which will require security reinforcements.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 12:45:58 PM |

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