January 2017 News

CRPF Begins Withdrawal Of Additional Companies From Kashmir

17 January 2017
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: With the improvement in situation in the Valley, the paramilitary CRPF has begun withdrawing its additional companies, which were brought from outside State to maintain law and order during the over five-month long unrest in Kashmir. 'Yes, we will be withdrawing in phased manner the additional CRPF companies brought to Kashmir to maintain law and order during the unrest,' CRPF spokesman Rajesh Yadav told Express. He said the decision about withdrawal of additional CRPF companies from Valley was taken after consultations with the State government. The authorities had brought additional companies of CRPF and other paramilitary forces to Kashmir to maintain law and order and foil anti-India protests during the unrest triggered by the killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. '102 additional companies of CRPF were brought to Kashmir and deployed in all 10 districts of the Valley to quell protests and maintain peace,' Yadav said. According to security officials, each CRPF company comprises 135 men and Assistant Commandant heads them. Yadav said with the improvement in the situation, 55 CRPF companies have been withdrawn from the Valley. According to official sources, 2371 law and order incidents took place in Valley in five of unrest after Burhan's killing. 'July witnessed 820 law and order incidents followed by 747 in August, 535 in September, 179 in October and 73 in November.' Yadav said the withdrawal of additional CRPF companies from Valley began in December. 'We will be withdrawing all the additional companies deployed in the Valley in a phased manner,' he said adding 'We are also keeping watch on the situation in the Valley and will act according to the situation'. The CRPF official said the withdrawal of more companies from Valley has been held-up due to the blocking of Srinagar-Jammu national highway by the snowfall. 'The additional CRPF companies deployed in Valley would be deployed in poll-bound States. Some of the companies withdrawn from the Valley would be stationed at their respective headquarters,' Yadav said. As per official figures 76 people and two policemen were killed during the five-month long unrest in the Valley. However, unofficial figures put the death toll figures to 94 including two policemen. Besides, 13000 civilians with over 8000 of them being hit by pellets were injured in security forces firing to quell protests during the unrest period. With the improvement in the situation, separatist leaders, who were spearheading the agitation after Burhan's killing, have scaled down their 'protest and shutdown calendar'. On the call of separatists, Kashmir had witnessed four months of a continuous shutdown. But now with an improvement in the situation, separatists have scaled down the strikes and called for a weekly strike on Fridays only.