Troop redeployment: J&K leaders seek clarification

Paramilitary soldiers stands guard at an temporary check point in Srinagar. File (representational image)   | Photo Credit: AP

Deployment of paramilitary personnel in Jammu and Kashmir in the past one week has fuelled speculations of the Central government pushing new changes in the Union Territory (UT), and several leaders voiced their concern on Monday and demanded a clarification from the government.

Officials said 70 companies were “reinducted and redeployed” in parts of the UT in the past one week.

It is the first time since the Centre revoked J&K’s special constitutional position on August 5, 2019 that the UT was witnessing such large-scale movement of paramilitary troops, mainly the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Police officials, who requested anonymity, described the movement as “just reinduction of personnel who were dispatched for poll duties in several States in the past one year”. They claimed that around 300 companies of paramilitary personnel, mostly the CRPF, were moved out of the UT in 2020 and were “likely to be brought back”.

“These troops are returning from the States where elections were held recently. They are being reinducted. It’s not new deployment,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar was quoted as saying by the Delhi-based NDTV news channel.

The sudden movement of security personnel amidst the pandemic saw netizens discussing Centre’s fresh plans for J&K, which includes carving out new divisions out of the Kashmir Valley and merging them with districts of the Chenab valley and the Pir Panchal.

Fear of rearrest

Several mainstream leaders, who were arrested in August 2019 in a crackdown, feared rearrest.

“While rumours are flying thick and fast. Should we be ready for second semester? MLA’s hostel 2.0?” National Conference leader Tanveer Sadiq said, in a tweet.

Mr. Sadiq was among the scores of mainstream leaders arrested and placed inside the sub-jail of MLA Hostel in Srinagar for many months.

People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone has sought clarification from the government. “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 be true until government actually denies it,” Mr. Lone said, in a tweet.

Amarnath Yatra

The J&K administration still mulling over its options whether to go ahead with the annual pilgrimage of Amarnath in the last week of June or not. The 56-day yatra is scheduled to start from June 28.

However, many leaders have voiced concern over organising the yatra in the backdrop of the pandemic.

“To conduct the Amarnath Yatra, the decision will be taken in Delhi. They don’t listen to the people of Kashmir. They shouldn’t have held ‘'Kumbh Mela’, because of which lakhs of people got COVID-19 infected,” People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 12:51:59 AM |

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