MHA orders pullout of over 10k forces personnel from J&K

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SRINAGAR — The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal of more than 10,000 security forces personnel who were brought to Kashmir prior to last year’s August 5 announcement of rollback of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile State into two Union Territories.

The development comes after over a year after at least 400 additional companies of security forces were deployed across J&K in the wake of last year’s August 5 announcement by the Government of India.

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The MHA in its order sent to Advisor to the Administration of J&K UT, Commissioner Secretary, Administration J&K UT and Director General of Police J&K Dilbagh Singh, stated that it is to intimate that the deployment of Central Armed Forces in J&K has been further reviewed by the ministry.

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“It has been decided to withdraw 100 Companies of CAPFs with immediate effect from J&K and revert them back to their respective locations,” reads the MHA order.

Each security forces’ company comprises 100 to 110 men which means over 10,000 forces personnel are on way out from J&K UT. The breakup of 100 companies that are being pulled out of J&K include 40 companies from CRPF, 20 from BSF, 20 SSB and 20 from ITBB.

At least 40,000 additional troops were deployed across J&K prior to last year’s announcement about abrogation of Article 370 and slicing of the erstwhile State into two halves—J&K and Ladakh UTs. They were deployed for almost four months amid spontaneous shutdown—from August to November 2019 on all streets and sensitive places to contain possible protests and to deal with the law and order issues.

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However, they were later retained and now after over a year, the MHA today decided to withdraw 100 companies. Sources revealed that 300 additional forces continue to remain stationed in Kashmir and their withdrawal will depend on the second review by the MHA scheduled to be held next month.

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