Around 10,000 paramilitary forces personnel will be immediately withdrawn from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Central government said in an order this evening. The forces were deployed in Jammu and Kashmir in August last year as a precautionary measure when the Centre ended the state’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
The decision was taken after the Union Home Ministry reviewed the deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces or CAPFs in the union territory.
“It has been decided to withdraw 100 Coys of CAPFs with immediate effect from J&K and revert back to their respective locations,” the order read.
According to the order, of the 100 companies, 40 will be from the Central Reserve Police Force and 20 each of the Central Industrial Security Force, the Border Security Force and the Sashastra Seema Bal. The companies will now go wherever they were deployed before being moved to Jammu and Kashmir.
In May, the home ministry had withdrawn 10 CAPF companies from Jammu and Kashmir. A CAPF company has an operational strength of around 100 personnel.
Jammu and Kashmir was placed under a strong security blanket last August after the Centre’s move to prevent a possible backlash. The other precautionary measures included imposition of prohibitory orders banning large gatherings, withdrawal of phone and internet services and detention of hundreds of political leaders.
Over the last months, these measures are being gradually lifted with regular evaluation of the security situation. But even with the latest withdrawal of forces, a chunk of security forces remain in the Valley.
The CRPF will have a strength of about 60 battalions – each battalion has 1,000 personnel — in the Kashmir Valley apart. Some other units of paramilitary troops will also be there.