The Narendra Modi government has put the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force on high alert after the massive troop deployment in Kashmir Valley. According to news agency ANI, the Centre has also pressed the Indian Air Force aircraft including the C-17 heavy lift plane into service. The decision has been taken to facilitate the rapid induction of the CRPF and other paramilitary troops into the Kashmir Valley. The development came after the sources in the government said that over 280 companies of security forces, which are 28,000 troops, are in the process of being deployed in the Kashmir Valley.
News Nation had reported on Thursday that all major entry and exit points of Srinagar have been taken over by the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs) with token presence of local police. Local residents have started panic-buying essentials as they are linking the deployment of forces to apprehension of deterioration in the law and order situation.
The fresh deployment comes after 10,000 security personnel were rushed to the Valley. Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry issued a statement on Friday stating that “the deployment of paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir was based on the security situation there and requirements of rotation, and that such things are not discussed in the public domain.”
The latest units will be drawn from the CRPF (50 companies), SSB (30) and ITBP and BSF will contribute 10 each, they said. The ministry has said that these personnel will be deployed to strengthen the counter-insurgency grid and law and order duties in the Kashmir Valley, the sources said.
They are being air lifted and sent by trains, officials said. It is understood that the new units will reinforce the strength of the security forces already present in the valley who are conducting the annual Amarnath Yatra and carrying out counter-terrorism operations daily, they added.
The troops will be addition to about 65 regular battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force in the valley and over 20 other battalions of other forces deployed to conduct the yatra that will end on August 15.
One CAPF battalion has about 1,000 personnel. The new strength of the troops will also help in the conduct of the assembly polls in the state that are expected to be held in some time, they said.
Speculation is also rife that the Centre may have plans to do away with Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives exclusive rights to the state's residents in government jobs and land. These speculations have dominated the discourse in Kashmir over the past few days.
(With agency inputs)