Jammu & Kashmir

GoI considers phased withdrawal of Indian Army from Kashmir, says report

An armed forces personnel stands deployed in Srinagar amid restriction. [FPK File Photo/ Zainab]

Srinagar: A proposal to totally remove the Indian Army from Kashmir is currently being discussed, three and a half years after the government of India removed the special status provided to Jammu and Kashmir in response to the deployment of substantial additional troops, The Indian Express reported.

The Army will only be present along the Line of Control (LoC) if approved.

The report quoting the officials that proposal to withdraw the Army from Kashmir has been under discussion for about two years and is at an “advanced stage” now with the involvement of the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, armed forces and the JK police.

It is proposed that the CRPF would fill in for the army personnel removed from the Valley to meet the challenges of law and order and militancy operations, the report said.

“The matter is under serious discussion at the inter-ministerial level and it is understood to be feasible. In a way, the decision has been taken and it is a matter of when it will be done. Ultimately, however, it will be a political call,” a senior officer told The Indian Express.

In JK, the Indian Army maintains a strength of about 1.3 lakh personnel, of whom about 80,000 are stationed on the border, according to officials. The Rashtriya Rifles are in charge of carrying out militancy related operations in Kashmir with 40,000–45,000 personnel.

Over 60,000 CRPF members are reportedly on duty in JK, more than 45,000 of whom are stationed in the Kashmir Valley. The JK Police has 83,000 members. A few companies from different Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are still stationed in the Valley aside from this. The number of CAPFs varies according on the Valley’s situation.

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