Tension gripped Chenab Valley and Pir Panchal regions after deployment of fresh paramilitary forces at many places on Friday in these frontier areas.
As the officials remained tight lipped over the development, sources told Greater Kashmir that the people are scared as social media is abuzz with rumors about trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, or abrogation of Article 35-A.
“Fresh deployment of paramilitary forces in Bhaderwah and Kishtwar has added to the prevailing anxiety. Government maintaining silence over the issue has created uncertainty,” said a resident.
“It’s for the first time since 1990 that Border Security Force (BSF) platoon has entered Bhaderwah (Doda). Around two companies have arrived today and they are to be accommodated in a block of the Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Bhaderwah, building. The building is being is being made available for them,” said one of the officials.
Amid speculation and rumors on social media, sources said, security forces have constructed four concrete bunkers in Bhaderwah. “Special Operation Group (SOG) is being reconstituted in Chenab Valley on instructions from the higher ups and Village Defense Committees (VDC) have also been geared up in Kishtwar and Doda,” said the officials in police department.
Speaking to Greater Kashmir, president, Anjuman-Islamia, Bhaderwah, Kharat Hussain Farash said, “Entire Bhaderwah is living under fear. Bunkers are being constructed at many places and more troops deployment are an indication that something bad is going to happen.”
“District administration is not also clearing the doubts. We tried many a times, but no one speaks,” added Farash.
Details of Masjids and Imams are also being gathered by agencies in Bhaderwah, said the official sources.
“Situation in Banihal tehsil of Ramban district is no different,” Sajjad Ahmed from Banihal told this newspaper.
Similarly in Kishtwar, paramilitary personnel have been moved in, and many are on their way to the district where militancy graph has witnessed a rise after three decades. At present six to seven militants are still active in Kishtwar. One of them was recently arrested by the security forces in Thathri area of Doda district.
“No! This is old force stationed during elections,” replied Deputy Commissioner, Doda, Dr Sagar D. Doifode, though a text message to a question on whether fresh troops have been moved into Bhaderwah.
Meanwhile, in Poonch and Rajouri districts fresh paramilitary forces companies were seen camping in different localities of twin border districts.
To confirm the rumors and deployment of fresh paramilitary personnel in Chenab Valley, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu, Mukesh Singh, was contacted, but he said, “he is in a meeting.”
Similarly, SSP Doda was not ready to speak. Several calls were made to DIG Doda-Bhaderwah-Kishtwar, but he too was not available for the comments.