Store Your Ration; Revoke Article 35-A; 10,000 Soldiers Deployed – What is Happening in Kashmir?

Uncertainty and anxiety have seized the Kashmir Valley after New Delhi ordered to deploy additional 10,000 paramilitary troops, apparently, for ‘counter-insurgency’ and for maintaining ‘law and order’ in the Valley.

The general notion in the valley is that India is set to scrap Article 35-A, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and Delhi is gearing up for a massive agitation.

A day after National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval returned from Jammu and Kashmir, speculations were rife that Modi Government is planning something big in the valley. Earlier, Doval held detailed discussions with senior officers of the state administration, police, paramilitary forces, Army, and state and central intelligence agencies.

Kashmiri politicians have asked the Modi Government to desist from making such a move on Article 35-A. All regional parties of Jammu and Kashmir, including the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (J&KPM), and others, are against the removal of Articles 35A and 370.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter and wrote, “Centre’s decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops in 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. GoI [Government of India] needs to rethink and overhaul its policy.”

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Former CM – Omar Abdullah has asked the Centre to wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC), where a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A and Article 370 are pending. “Why should you hurry? We will respect the decision of the Supreme Court as we have always done,” Omar Abdullah said.

Omar Abdullah further stated that the bureaucrats were spreading rumors asking people to store rations, medicines, fuel for automobiles, etc, because a long haul of uncertainty was in the offering.

Former IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faisal also wrote on Twitter, “This MHA communique regarding deployment of additional 100 Coys of CAPF [Central Armed Police Forces] is fueling huge anxiety in Kashmir.”

Sajad Lone of the People’s Conference tweeted, “Scare, panic in Kashmir. Failed adventurists keen on adventurism. Failed experimentalists keen on experimentation. Hubris blinds reasoning.”

As per reports, special flights carrying CAPFs have reached Srinagar airport during the last three days, while convoys carrying extra companies are reaching the Valley by road.

This is reportedly meant to increase an already strong contingent of these forces in Kashmir. Over 450 companies of CAPF (40,000 troops) are already stationed for the security of the ongoing Amarnath Yatra and other activities.

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Additional Director General Police (ADGP) Law and Order Muneer Khan said: “Around 200 training companies are presently performing duties in the Valley, which are to be replaced in a phased manner. More training companies will be relieved in due course of time with fresh forces. Presently, around 200 companies of paramilitary are deployed in Kashmir,” he told a local news agency.

IG Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Ravideep Sahi said, “The induction and de-induction of troops are done to strengthen law and order and counter-insurgency grid.”

Experts talking to EurAsian Times stated that the Indian security forces had prepared an extensive contingency plan in anticipation of a court order expected sometime soon. Experts further added that security preparations are also underway for August 15 – Independence Day preparation, but it is not a coincidence.

The Modi Government has promised to revoke article 35-A in Jammu and Kashmir, and it would not be surprising that the under the determined home minister  – Amit Shah, J&K should see some action. And don’t forget the ‘Darbar Move’ is not very far when all the key personalities, ministers, and bureaucrats move from Kashmir to Jammu.