India. New Delhi. After the abrogation of Article 370 in J & K of the constitution that gave the erstwhile state a unique Union Territory status, additional forces were rushed. Now after one year of the abrogation, the central government on Wednesday ordered an “immediate” withdrawal of about 10,000 paramilitary personnel from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
This is the biggest de-induction of these forces and the decision was taken after the Ministry of Home Affairs reviewed the deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the Union Territory (UT).
The Home Ministry had last withdrawn 10 CAPF companies from the UT in May, while 72 such units were taken out in December last year.
A senior official told PTI that a total of 100 CAPF companies have been ordered to be withdrawn “immediately” on Wednesday and they have been asked to revert to their base locations in the country.
As per the directions, a total of 40 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and 20 each of the Central Industrial Security Force, the Border Security Force and the Sashastra Seema Bal will be taken out from Jammu and Kashmir by this week.
The CRPF has been asked to make arrangements for airlifting of these units to Delhi and other locations.
A CAPF company has an operational strength of about 100 personnel.
“The units that are being withdrawn are deployed both in Jammu and Srinagar. It was felt that the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist grid is intact in the UT and these additional units that were sent in last year can be de-inducted giving them the much-required rest, recuperation and training,” a senior CAPF officer said.
He also mentioned, with the winters soon setting in, it would have been an onerous task to keep these units in make-shift and temporary dwelling units especially in the Kashmir valley region.
With the latest de-induction, the lead counter-terrorist force CRPF will have a strength of about 60 battalions (about 1,000 personnel in each battalion) in the Kashmir valley apart from very few units of the other CAPFs.