For a week now, Kashmir has been witnessing heavy movement of troops. An official said these are troops returning after election duties in four states and a Union Territory.
Officials said around 300 companies of troops, especially the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), had left the Valley on election duties.So far, 70 of them have returned while others are on their way back.
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“It’s nothing unusual. Approximately 300 of Central Armed Police Forces had moved out of our security grid for the recent assembly elections . So far, only 70 companies have returned,” said a senior police officer who is privy to details and oversees the security grid in Kashmir.
The unusual movement of troops, especially in north Kashmir, has led to speculation that the Centre may be planning a move similar to that of August 5, 2019, when Article 370 giving special status to J&K was nullified and the state divided into two Union Territories.
Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone said, “We want to believe even in rumours rumoured to be rumours. We love rumours, don’t we? Last few days have been all about rumours and conspiracies. They say don’t believe a rumour to b true until govt actually denies it,” he tweeted.
National Conference leader Tanveer Sadiq, who was also the political advisor of former J&K chief secretary, also raised concerns about the rumours, wondering if mainstream leaders could again be arrested and lodged in MLA hostel. “While rumours are flying thick and fast — should we be ready for second semester? MLA’s hostel 2.0?,” he tweeted.
Senior BJP leader and former legislator Sofi Yousuf rubbished rumours that J&K will be further bifurcated. “Once things are normal, J&K will get back its statehood. These are rumours that J&K will see further division,” he said.
Meanwhile, J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha is in Delhi, along with top senior officers, and has held several meetings in the past two days.