Uncertainty spread over large parts of the Valley after the deployment of additional forces prompted political leaders to say that this could be part of the plan to abrogate Article 35A.
People in many areas started panic-buying of essential items.
Senior police officers in Jammu and Kashmir described the deployment of the extra forces as “routine”, and intended to relieve their stretched colleagues in the state.
- Speculations are rife over scrapping of Article 35A in the Valley
- The reactions from political players are further fueling the speculations
- Fortification of sensitive locations was done to ensure forces have upper hand in any case scenario
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There is fear in the Valley and in Muslim-majority districts of Jammu and Kargil that the move to remove Article 35A — which empowers the J&K Legislature to define permanent residents of the state — is intended to change the demography of the Muslim-majority state.
J&K Police Additional DGP (Law and Order) Muneer Khan said the “additional requisition of forces has been made to make up for the 200 companies that need to proceed to their battalions for mandatory training exercises”.
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State DGP Dilbagh Singh said the arrival of the additional forces was a law and order measure.
As the first batches of these troops started to fly in to Srinagar Saturday, political parties in the Valley warned the Centre against “thoughtless adventurism”.
Former minister Sajad Lone, who is deemed to be close to the BJP, warned the Centre that “…adventurism will mean an investment in future for decades of violence and contempt for those who believe in Indian-ness”.
The political establishment in the valley has also hit out at the Centre for arbitrarily injecting more military in the state.
“Centre’s decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops to the valley has created fear psychosis amongst people.
There is no dearth of security forces in Kashmir. J&K is a political problem which won’t be solved by military means.
Government of India needs to rethink and overhaul its policy,” former state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said, on Twitter.
The Friday night deployment comprises paramilitary forces from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).