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Govt Orders Immediate Withdrawal of Over 7,000 Paramilitary Troops from Kashmir Valley: Officials

The decision was taken after a full security review of the Kashmir situation where authorities discussed the security situation in the newly carved out Union Territory besides development matters.

News18.com

Updated:December 24, 2019, 11:31 PM IST
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Govt Orders Immediate Withdrawal of Over 7,000 Paramilitary Troops from Kashmir Valley: Officials
Representative Image. (PTI)

New Delhi: Four months after the abrogation of Article 370 that revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status, government sources said a decision has been taken to recall troops in the Valley with immediate effect. Close to 70 companies (or 70,000 personnel) of the paramilitary will be recalled, they added.

The decision was taken after a full security review of the Kashmir situation on Tuesday. The high-level review meeting on Jammu and Kashmir discussed the security situation in the newly carved out Union Territory besides development matters, said officials.

Communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the chief secretary and the home secretary of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Srinagar Director General of Police said that it has been decided to withdraw 72 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) "with immediate effect from their locations and revert to their respective locations". One such company has about 100 personnel.

These units drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) were sent to the Kashmir Valley after the Centre abrogated Article 370 provisions in Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was chaired by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and attended among others by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir GC Murmu, Union Home Secretary Ajay K Bhalla, senior security advisor in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the UT K Vijay Kumar, among others.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also joined the meeting for sometime, the officials said. They said Kumar was scheduled to travel to the Union Territory soon to take stock of the situation.

As per the order issued on Monday, while 24 companies of the CRPF are being withdrawn, 12 each of the BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB are being sent back. About 20 such companies were withdrawn from the valley early this month.

The erstwhile state was put under an unprecedented security lockdown after the BJP-led central government revoked Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5.

Severe restrictions were imposed in the state, particularly in the Valley, which included deployment of additional troops to the Muslim-majority region in the lead-up, imposition of curfew on parts of the territory, shutting down of all forms of telecommunications and arrest of all mainstream political leaders.

(With inputs from agencies)

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