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Centre orders withdrawal of 10,000 paramilitary troops from J&K

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Srinagar: The Centre has ordered “immediate” withdrawal of about 10,000 paramilitary forces personnel from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday.

They said 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).

A senior official said that a total of 100 CAPF companies have been ordered to be withdrawn “immediately” and revert to their base locations in the country from where they were mobilised to the UT in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 last year.

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 (CISF), the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), will be taken out of Jammu and Kashmir by this week.

A CAPF company has an operational strength of about 100 personnel.

The Home ministry had last withdrawn about 10 CAPF companies from the UT in May.

The CRPF has been asked to make arrangements for air lifting of these units to Delhi and other locations, officials said.

“The units that are being withdrawn are deployed both in Jammu and Srinagar.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.

Also, he said, 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 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 other CAPFs.

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