Movement of troops to J&K ‘speculation’; deployment based on internal security: MHA sources

In the wake of reports on the additional movement of troops to Jammu and Kashmir, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs Friday said periodic deployment was based on internal security in the state. Speaking to The Indian Express, sources said troops would be deployed on the basis of factors such as rest and recuperation, and training.

A week ago, the Centre had sent 100 companies, or 10,000 personnel, to the Valley to “strengthen CI grid as well as for maintaining law and order”. The deployment comprised 50 companies of the CRPF, 30 companies from the SSB and 10 companies each from the BSF and the ITBP.

The notification from the Home Ministry last week had sparked fears that it could be part of a plan to abrogate Article 35A. Uncertainty over Article 35A and Article 370 has arisen ever since Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections were delayed, and President’s Rule was extended earlier this year.

The Indian Express reported that the move was to provide security cover to hoist the Tricolour in every panchayat in the state on Independence Day. The BJPhopes that the move will help gather momentum for the Assembly elections expected later this year.

“The government is infusing troops as many panchayat heads want to hoist the national flag this Independence Day. This deployment is being done to ensure no disruption to the process and avoid any untoward incident,” said sources.

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