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Government planning to reduce Army presence in J&K

Published: 24th Feb, 2023

Context

The government is considering a plan to withdraw the Army from the interior of Kashmir in a phased manner and replace it with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

About

What is in the plan?

  • The government is discussing a proposal to withdraw the Indian Army completely from the Valley hinterland.
  • If approved, the Army will have presence only on the Line of Control (LoC).
  • The idea is to have J&K Police along with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) fill in for the Army when it is withdrawn. 

The Strength (in numbers):

  • The Army maintains strength of around 1.3 lakh personnel in the entire J&K of which around 80,000 are deployed on the border.
  • About 40,000-45,000 personnel from the Rashtriya Rifles have the mantle of conducting counter-terror operations in Kashmir’s hinterland.
  • The CRPF is said to have a strength of close to 60,000 personnel in J&K, of which more than 45,000 are deployed in Kashmir Valley.
  • J&K Police is 83,000 strong.
  • Apart from this, a few companies from other Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) remain deployed in the Valley. The figures for CAPFs fluctuate depending on the security situation in the Valley.

Reason behind the move:

  • To show (prove) normalcy: The idea behind the deliberations is to not just claim normalcy in Kashmir but also make it visible.
    • The government claims that terrorist violence incidents and killing of security personnel in J&K have reduced by almost 50 per cent since August 5, 2019, compared with the same period before it.

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