Additional forces rushed to Kashmir in August start leaving: Officials

The additional security forces which were rushed to Kashmir ahead of August 5 have begun to leave the region, an official said.

More than 50,000 forces (600 companies) were flown to Kashmir ahead of the Government of India’s decision of scrapping J&K’s special status amid fears of widespread protests.

To begin with, the official said, at least four companies (4000 men) of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have already left Kashmir.

“These forces packed their bags on Sunday and left Kashmir following improvement in the ground situation,” the official said, wishing not to be named.

The official said the decision on withdrawal of more forces would be taken in the days to come, depending on the overall situation and after security reviews.

“There is a high level security review meeting scheduled in New Delhi this week where the issues of withdrawal of additional forces would be finalised,” the officer said.

Kashmir reeled under uncertainty post abrogation of Article 370, however, the situation remained by and large peaceful as no major law and order situation was reported from any part of Kashmir.

Another official said while the forces faced “little challenge” on the law and order front, he said they were facing “quite a discomfort” in the wake of plummeting of the mercury.

The central forces have been working in tandem with local police to maintain law and order post the abrogation of Article 370.

The ratio of central forces to local police in handling law and order was much higher. Majority of the central forces that were inducted in Kashmir were from paramilitary CRPF.

The official said as and when situation improves, more companies would pack their bags.

“It will happen gradually and in a phased-manner after thorough consultations among security agencies including Police and Army. Any call will be taken after a detailed security review and after thorough deliberations among the heads of security agencies,” he said.