Govt considers phased withdrawal of Army from Valley hinterland
CNS Desk,20-Feb; A proposal to totally remove the Indian Army from the Valley hinterland is currently being discussed, three and a half years after the Union government removed the special status provided to Jammu and Kashmir in response to the deployment of substantial additional troops, national media reported.
The Army will only be present along the Line of Control (LoC) if approved.
According to representatives of the security establishment, the proposal to remove the Army from the hinterland of Kashmir has been discussed for about two years and is currently in an “advanced stage” with the participation of the J&K police, the armed forces, the Union Ministry of Defence, and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The idea is that the CRPF would step in to handle the responsibilities of maintaining law and order as well as counterterrorism activities in place of the army men who were evacuated from the Valley.
As per reports, the matter is under discussion at the ministerial level. As per bureaucratic discussions, the phased withdrawal is practical, but the ultimate decision will be a political call.
There has been no official confirmation on the same yet.
In all of J&K, the Army maintains strength of about 1.3 lakh people, of whom about 80,000 are stationed on the border, according to officials. The Rashtriya Rifles are in charge of carrying out counterterrorism operations in Kashmir’s countryside, which entails 40,000–45,000 soldiers.
Over 60,000 CRPF members are reportedly on duty in J&K, more than 45,000 of whom are stationed in the Kashmir Valley. The J&K Police has 83,000 members.
A few companies from different Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are still stationed in the Valley aside from this. The number of CAPFs varies according on the Valley’s security situation.
The purpose of the discussions is to not only assert but also demonstrate that life is normal in Kashmir. According to the authorities, since August 5, 2019, compared to the prior period, militant violent occurrences and the killing of security personnel in J&K have decreased by over 50%.(CNS)