Monday, July 13, 2009

Govt may pull out over 20 para-military battalions from J-K

Notwithstanding the demand of Jammu and Kashmir government for greater role of CRPF in the militancy-hit state, the Centre is contemplating to move out at least 23 battalions of paramilitary forces and shift them to left wing extremism-affected areas.

As many as 16 battalions of the CRPF 10 from Kashmir valley and six from other areas, five of Border Security Force and two of Indo-Tibetan Border Police are likely to be moved out of the state soon, official sources said. The total number of the personnel to shifted is around 23,000.

The sources said a decision to this effect may be taken after the completion of the Amarnath Yatra, which is scheduled to end early next month. They said the CRPF, which has over 75,000 personnel in the valley out of which one-third were deployed on duty with he counter-insurgency grid, needed to be trimmed down.

The review of CRPF deployment shows that most of its personnel, supposedly on duty with the counter insurgency grid, were deployed on guard duty of senior state police officials and ministers, the sources said. While Naxal-affected states were starving for a bare minimum support from the Centre, the number of paramilitary forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir was too much, they said.

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