CRPF pulls out additional companies brought to Kashmir for yatra duty

The additional companies brought to Kashmir for yatra duty during annual Amarnath pilgrimage have been pulled out.

Published: 21st August 2017 07:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2017 07:52 PM   |  A+A-

CRPF personnel (File | EPS)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: In view of improvement in the situation in Kashmir and killing of over 130 militants in “All Out” operation launched by security forces, the paramilitary CRPF has pulled out all additional troops brought to the Valley for Amarnath yatra duty.

CRPF spokesman in Srinagar, Rajesh Yadav, told The New Indian Express that the additional companies brought to Kashmir for yatra duty during annual Amarnath pilgrimage have been pulled out from Kashmir in a phased manner.

“As of now, all the additional companies that were brought to Kashmir for yatra duty have moved out,” he said.

Over 250 paramilitary companies including 129 CRPF companies were brought from outside State for yatra deployment in Valley to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the pilgrimage, which began on June 29 and concluded on August 7.

About 2.60 lakh pilgrims visited the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas during the pilgrimage while 54 pilgrims died, eight of them in a militant attack, this year.

Yadav said all the 129 CRPF companies brought for yatra duty to Valley have moved out and none has been retained back.

According to official sources, about 55 CRPF battalions are deployed in Valley and 15 are stationed in Jammu, the winter capital of the State.

A security official, pleading anonymity, said that initially it was decided that some of the CRPF companies brought for yatra duty would be retained and deployed for law and order and counter insurgency duties in south Kashmir, which has emerged as hotspot of the militancy.

He, however, said after the improvement of the law and order situation in the south Kashmir comprising four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam and killing of over 130 militants in security forces operations, it was decided that all the additional companies would be moved out.

“We have enough men deployed in the Valley to take care of the law and order situation and counter militancy operations,” he said.

The official said the security situation in south Kashmir has shown marked improvement after three battalions of army were deployed in the region and new army camps set up in volatile areas to prevent free movement of militants.

He said the army deployment and “All Out” operation launched against the militants is paying dividends as more than 130 militants including seven top commanders have been killed in gunfights with security forces in the Valley.

“Most of the militants were killed in south Kashmir,” he said.

According to official, the stone pelting incidents have declined considerably and so have militant attacks.

“Now militants are on the run,” he said adding it clearly indicates that the situation has improved and there was no need of extra deployment of security forces in the Valley

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