Govt Orders 'Urgent' Deployment of Paramilitary, Rumours and Fear Grip Kashmir
Article 35A to be abrogated suspect locals
SRINAGAR: Kashmir witnessed a long night of rumours and speculations fuelled by a Union Home Ministry order last night for “urgent” deployment of 100 companies of paramilitary forces in the state even as flying choppers and jets kept many residents awake through Friday night.
“We have to urgently deploy additional CAPFs in Jammu and Kashmir. It is requested to provide 100 Coys of CAPFs to Govt of J&K with immediate effect and till further orders. IG CRPF is requested to ensure immediate movement of forces in coordination with IG (Ops) of all forces,” the order issued by the MHA said.
Following the home ministry’s order for deployment of additional paramilitary forces in the state, raids were carried out at the homes of Hurriyat and other leaders with many detained arrested including JKLF chief Yasin Malik.
Reports of course remained unconfirmed, suggesting that the Centre may use the ordinance route to do away with the legislation if it doesn’t get a ‘favourable’ order from the apex court.
What lend credence to the rumours was the late-night arrest of JKLF chief Yasin Malik and a major crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami group, whose dozens of leaders including its chief Dr Abdul Hamid Fayaz, were arrested in nocturnal raids by police.
Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani and moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq are already under house arrest, official said.
“During the intervening night of 22-23 February 2019, police and other forces agencies launched mass arrest drive and raided many houses in the Valley wherein dozens of central and district level leaders have been arrested, including the JeI chief,” a Jamaat spokesman said in a statement.
The ‘urgent’ deployment of forces and arrest spree comes days after a suicide bomber killed at least 49 paramilitary forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The BJP-led Centre, which has blamed Pakistan for the attack, is under pressure to act against the groups behind the suicide bombing.
The Centre yesterday asked 27 village on the Line of Control in Nowshera sector in Rajouri district to be ready to vacate at ‘short term’ notice in the wake of rising tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad following the Pulwama bombing.