India 'to withdraw 10,000 paramilitaries from Jammu and Kashmir'
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 20 August 2020 9:47 AM
India's Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly ordered the immediate withdrawal of at least 10,000 paramilitary forces from the disputed Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir.
The order was issued on Wednesday after the ministry reviewed the deployment of "the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)" to the disputed territory, according to the Press Trust of India (PTU).
An unnamed government official told Turkey's Anadolu news agency that a total of 100 security companies had been ordered to pullout their personnel from the region.
"By this week, the companies will be withdrawn to their base location in the other parts of the country," the official said, adding that the decision had been made following a conclusion that the security situation had improved in Jammu and Kashmir.
The development will be the biggest de-induction of security forces since additional troops were rushed to the region following New Delhi's decision to revoke the region's autonomy last August. The Home Affairs Ministry had last withdrawn 10 security companies from Jammu and Kashmir in May, while 72 such units were taken out in December last year.
On August 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government announced it was removing the region's special status.
Following the announcement, the New Delhi government dispatched thousands of additional forces to the region, declared a strict curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet services, and arrested political leaders and pro-independence campaigners.
The Himalayan region is divided between India – which rules the populous Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated region around Jammu City – and Pakistan, which controls a wedge of territory in the west.
Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.
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