New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has ordered "immediate" withdrawal of over 7,000 paramilitary troops from Kashmir after a security review, officials said on Tuesday.
A total of 72 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been ordered to "revert" to their locations across the country, they said. One such company has about 100 personnel.
These units drawn from the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and the SSB were sent to the Kashmir Valley after the Centre abrogated Article 370 provisions in Jammu and Kashmir.
As per the order issued on Monday, while 24 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force are being withdrawn, 12 each of the Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal are being sent back.
About 20 such companies were withdrawn from the valley early this month.
Officials speaking to PTI said that senior security advisor to the Union Territory, Vijay Kumar, was scheduled to travel to J&K soon to take stock of the situation. They reportedly discussed the security situation in the region as well as developmental matters.
The Kashmir Valley lockdown has disrupted life in the valley. with schools and businesses shut or empty ever since the abrogation was announced.
In August, prior to the announcement of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, 25,000 troops arrived in the valley, taking the total number of central paramilitary forces deployed there since 2018 to 75,000. Then, the government asked police personnel to stock food for three to four months.
Several of the restrictions imposed on August 5, when the announcement for the abrogation of Article 370 was made, have subsequently been lifted, with a government spokesperson in September claiming that 90 per cent of Kashmir valley was free of daytime restrictions.
However, curbs on mobile data continue to be in force, with the ongoing internet shutdown denting mobile phone sales as well as employment in such outlets. According to the Kashmiri Chamber of Commerce, businesses in the sttae suffered losses of up to Rs 10,000 crore by October.
Many people detained, including three former chief ministers—Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti—continue to be incarcerated.
(With PTI inputs)