The Centre on Friday ordered the deployment of 100 additional companies of paramiltary forces to Jammu and Kashmir, NDTV reported. The additional troops include 45 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force, 35 from the Border Security Force and 10 each from the Sashastra Seema Bal and Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
Security has been increased in the state since an attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 killed at least 40 security personnel. Pakistan-based extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a notice on late on Friday evening, the Ministry of Home Affairs ordered that Central Armed Police Forces urgently deploy 100 companies in Jammu and Kashmir. “It is requested to provide 100 coys of CAPFs to Govt. of J&K with immediate effect and till further orders,” the MHA letter said, according to Kashmir Reader. “IG (Ops), CRPF is requested to ensure immediate movement of Forces in coordination with IG (Ops) of all Forces.”
According to a report in News18, the additional deployment of forces in the Valley is for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the state. “We don’t want sudden arrival of forces at the time of election,” an unidentified police official told the news channel. “They need to get familiarised with the situation and will be put on training.”
Police and paramilitary forces have been put on high alert amid reports of a wider crackdown on separatists in the state, PTI reported. In a late night crackdown on Friday, separatist leader Yasin Malik was detained from his home in Srinagar. Several top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders were also detained in Kashmir in the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.
The detentions come days ahead of the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court likely to take place on Monday. The article, incorporated into the Indian Constitution in 1954, grants special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier this week, the state government withdrew security cover from several Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Shah and Saleem Geelani. The move to withdraw security cover followed a week after 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed in a suicide bombing in Pulwama district.