In the aftermath of the horrific Pulwama attack, the government has brought back the BSF to the valley after 14 years. Along with ramping up its crackdown on separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, the centre has moved 100 additional companies of Central Armed Police Forces to the valley. This includes 35 companies of BSF, 45 CRPF companies, and 10 companies of ITBP and SSB each.
The government has also decided to remove CRPF from static guard duties in Jammu and Kashmir, the task has been assigned to BSF and ITBP now.
As the country awaits the hearing on Article 35A in Supreme Court, which gives special powers to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, there are reports that the J&K police along with security forces have arrested around 150 separatists in the valley. The raids have been conducted in several places across the valley, including Anantnag, Pahalgam, Dialgam and Tral in south Kashmir.
In these nocturnal raids, which have been continuing for the last two days, the security forces detained and arrested many Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), leaders. JeI is a socio-political organisation and a part of separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (an umbrella organisation of separatists).
Amongst those detained are Ameer Jama’at, Dr Abdul Hamid Fayaz, advocate Zahid Ali (spokesperson), Ghulam Qadir Lone (former secretary general), Abdur Rouf (Ameer Zila Islamabad), Mudasir Ahmad (Ameer Tehsil Pahalgam), Abdul Salam (Dialgam), Bakhtawar Ahmad (Dialgam), Mohammad Hayat (Tral), Bilal Ahmad (Chadoora), Ghulam Mohammad Dar (Chak Sangran) and dozens more.
Besides this, police also detained JKLF chief Yaseen Malik on Friday night.
Terming the raid “fishy” and calling it “well-designed conspiracy to pave way for further uncertainty in the region”, the JeI spokesperson furthered “the way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jamaat members prior to the hearing seems something is hatching behind the curtains. Any attempt of eroding or tampering Article 35A is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
The overnight raids on 22-23 February saw choppers hovering over Srinagar for the second consecutive night and station officers across the valley have been told to identify people who have links with Jammat and Hurriyat and have been ordered to detain them.
Though the police refrained from giving specifics for this sudden mobilisation of forces in the state, speculation is that the Centre is planning to scrap the article 35A by bringing in an ordinance and this is being done to avoid any untoward incident following the SC judgement.
Also, the Ministry of Home Affairs decision to send additional 100 companies of paramilitary forces to state on urgent basis has fueled the rumours that something is brewing in the security establishment for which they making massive preparations. Scores of private trucks and buses were lined up out the Srinagar airport to ferry the additional paramilitary forces being airlifted to the state.
But ADG of J&K police Muneer Khan downplayed the deployment of additional forces, saying this has done due to the upcoming general elections, adding that more companies of security forces will be moved to the state due to that reason.
There were reports that Pakistan too has started preparing for a possible conflict. After reports of the administrations issuing advisories for people residing in areas close to the LoC, it has been reported that the Pakistan army has instructed hospitals to be ready for emergency medical support.
India has adopted a zero-tolerance policy in the aftermath of the dastardly Pulwama attack on the Indian soldiers. Earlier, the government had ordered the withdrawal of security cover provided to separatists leaders. Some reports say that these detention has been done keeping the crucial hearing over the article 35A in the Supreme Court on Monday.