Extra Forces Called Into Kashmir During 5-Month Unrest, To Be Withdrawn

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Security has been scaled down in Kashmir Valley after 5 months of unrest.


Srinagar:  After nearly five months of unrest following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, security is being scaled down in Kashmir valley.  More than 100 companies of the paramilitary force CRPF -- approximately 13,000 troops brought in to deal with the law and order crisis -- are moving out. More than half of them have already been withdrawn. 

Officials say the phased withdrawal of thousands of paramilitary troops is a clear indication of the change that has taken place on the ground. Admitting that the situation is better, a spokesperson of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), said, "There is improvement in the situation... there is very little stone pelting now".

The CRPF has 47 battalions , which is more than 50,000 men, permanently stationed in Kashmir to deal with militancy and the law and order situation. Another 13,000 men was called in after the unrest started following Wani's death in July. 

The army also brought in three additional brigades, or 9,000 troops, to calm the streets of Kashmir. While the soldiers remain stationed, CRPF says their additional personnel were only meant to counter the crisis situation. 

"They have to go back to their parent units, or they will be deployed for election related duty... the Republic Day is also approaching, we have to cater to that... as regards militancy, the long-term deployment is here which can see to it," the spokesperson added. 

After the unrest, other paramilitary forces like the Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Central Industrial Security Force had been deployed in Kashmir. Official sources say over the last one month, nine companies of SSB, five companies of CISF and 17 companies of ITBP have been withdrawn from Kashmir. 

Nearly 100 people have died and over 12,000 were injured over the last five months. Of the injured, more than 1,000 people received pellet injuries in their eyes after the use of the controversial pellet guns. Even after the widespread outage and assurances by the government the pellet guns were not withdrawn.


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