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Centre confirms augmenting of forces

Indian army soldiers keep guard in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.   | Photo Credit: AP

The Union Home Ministry has confirmed that it issued orders for deployment of 10,000 additional paramilitary personnel in Jammu and Kashmir “about a week ago”, but insisted that it had “never been the practice” to discuss deployment details in public.

In all, around 25,000 additional central armed police forces are being inducted in the Kashmir Valley.

The Ministry’s clarification came following reports that an additional 25,000 Central paramilitary personnel were being sent to Kashmir.

Nearly 32,000 Central armed police forces deployed for securing Amarnath Yatra that was “curtailed” on Friday following terror threats from Pakistan would continue to be deployed in the Valley for security-related duties, an official said.

The ‘yatra’ was to conclude on August 15. There are another 50,000 Central forces deployed there, apart from the Army and the State police.

This is the first time in two decades that the ‘yatra’ is being curtailed for security reasons.

Asked about the Jammu and Kashmir order asking tourists and the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims to leave the Valley, a top government official said, “It is not an ordinary advisory.”

According to the Home Ministry, the deployment of 10,000 Central forces last week apparently led to speculation about the dispatch of additional security forces to the Valley.

“Based on [the] assessment of the internal situation, training requirements, the need for paramilitary troops to be rotated for rest and recuperation, induction and de-induction of Central forces is a continuous and dynamic process,” a source in the Ministry said.

There has been considerable concern in the Valley about the additional deployment of Central forces as the Union government is publicly committed to annulling Article 35-A and Article 370 of the Constitution, which confer special status on the State.

‘People terrified’

Earlier, Mir Mohammad Fayaz of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while participating in a debate in the Rajya Sabha, said people in Kashmir were terrified after 25,000 troops moved there.

“Please clarify why is it being done. We were never under British; Kashmir was always independent, we chose to come with India. You only gave us 35A and 370, why do you want to take it away?” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 5:42:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/not-a-practice-to-discuss-troop-deployments-in-public-says-home-ministry/article28792174.ece

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