Govt Panel Studying Troop-cut In City3 December 2010
Srinagar: Even as 26 out of 100 CRPF bunkers have been removed from Srinagar, a sizeable chunk of paramilitary troops deployed across the summer capital would be relocated to adjoining districts and towns, top government sources said Friday. They said the government has already constituted a committee to study the prospects of relocation of paramilitary troops from Srinagar. “The panel comprising the officials of home department is actively studying the security scenario of Srinagar and will submit its report to the government soon”, sources said. They said the removal of bunkers started in two phases. “In the first phase, 16 bunkers were removed and 10 more were pulled down in the second phase. The process is on”. Stating that the committee formed is thoroughly looking into the process of thinning troops in Srinagar, sources said, “The committee will brief the government especially chief minister Omar Abdullah about the pros and cons of removal of bunkers. Afterwards decision on removing further bunkers will be taken”. They said more bunkers especially those belonging to paramilitary CRPF would be removed in the coming months. “After thorough security assessment of Srinagar city, the process of removal of bunkers will start. There is every possibility that the bunkers would be removed in major towns as well,” they said adding the decision is subject to the feedback of the committee. “Following removal of bunkers, good number of CRPF men would be relocated to various districts and towns. It is natural. The ‘relieved’ CRPF men would be relocated and posted in various districts of South and North Kashmir,” sources said. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar said the matter will be reviewed as per the situation. “Improvement in situation is must for such decisions. Situation reviews are taking place as per the schedule,” he said. CRPF spokesman in Srinagar, Prabhakar Tripathi said any decision about removal of bunkers or thinning of troops is taken at the administrative level. “The move is implemented after thorough consultations between police and CRPF,” he said. He said in case of laying siege in the area where militant presence is expected or for that matter conducting any frisking operation, both police and CRPF decide about the number of men to be deployed. According to CRPF estimates, there are 100 CRPF bunkers in Srinagar city. “I don’t think there are more than 100 bunkers in the city. There are buildings which houses CRPF camps and those camps can’t be treated as bunkers,” Tripathi said. “The chief minister Omar Abdullah has already discussed with Home Minister about his decision to remove bunkers, thinning of troops and making AFSPA more human by amending its certain draconian clauses. Omar has received green signal from Chidambaram about removal of bunkers,” sources said.