• Centre starts withdrawing CAPF troops

Srinagar: Peace is in the air as the Centre has started withdrawing Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) from Kashmir, four months after they were posted to maintain law and order following the abrogation of Article 370.

More than 78,000 CAPF troops were on duty in the State as a run up to the August 5 Parliament session that scrapped Article 370.

Four months on, Centre has decided to gradually de-induct the additional forces and send them back to their parent units. More than 20 additional companies (2000 personnel) have been withdrawn in the first phase from Kashmir. They include 15 companies from Border Security Force (BSF) and the remaining from CRPF.

“Fifteen companies have been de-inducted from Baramulla and Kupwara area. Now, they are not required here”, said Ajmal Singh, Inspector General of BSF, Kashmir Frontier.

Kashmir has been simmering after the abrogation of article 370 and bifurcation of the State into two Union Territories – Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir – on August 5. Official figures reveal that nobody has died in police or security forces firing, although 197 people were injured in different law and order and stone-pelting incidents since August 5.

“Kashmir situation is peaceful as encounters have gone down and law and order has shown significant improvement”, said Mr Singh.

According to Union Home Ministry, there has been 40 to 45 percent drop in stone-pelting incidents after the abrogation of Article 370. Official figures reveal that more than 5,161 people, including stone-pelters, miscreants, over ground workers and politicians were arrested in those days. three security forces personnel and 17 civilians were killed while 129 persons were injured in different militancy-related incidents across Jammu and Kashmir. In 2018, 328 infiltration attempts from across the border while this year it is 171.

From January to November 17, 594 militancy related incidents were witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir in which 37 civilians and 79 security forces personnel were killed. Last year 614 militancy related incidents were registered in which 39 civilians and 91 force personnel were killed.

Figures compiled by different security agencies put the number of militants operating in Kashmir at 300, of who 170 are locals and 130 Pakistanis. This year around 152 militants have been neutralized in different anti-militancy operations. Of whom 120 were locals and 32 foreigners, mostly Pakistanis.

Ishfaq Ul Hassan

An accredited journalist with 22 years of professional experience, Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan has worked as a reporter based in Kashmir for two decades. He has covered various beats including militancy, politics, defence, minorities, social issues, religious groups and women issues in Kashmir. He had previously worked as Special Correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir for DNA (Daily News and Analysis) Newspaper for 13 years. Ishfaq is also associated with the New Delhi- based television company `Asia Pacific Communication Associates’ which produced the famous series “Subah-Bakhar-Kashmir” for satellite Kashmir channel of Doordarshan. In 2004, he was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghosh Fellowship for Peace and Development for his research on families divided across the LOC in Kashmir.

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