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BSF readies to hand over J&K to CRPF
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | November 08, 2003 21:19 IST
Last Updated: November 08, 2003 21:25 IST
The paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force will have the advantage of the vast intelligence pools gathered by the Border Security Force over the years as it prepares to take over the sensitive counter-insurgency duties in Jammu and Kashmir by the middle of the month.
"We will handover all our assets especially our pools of intelligence that was painstakingly gathered over the years so that the CRPF is fully equipped to meet the challenge," said BSF Inspector General Vijay Raman at the heavily guarded frontier headquarters in Srinagar.
"The CRPF is our sister organization and we wish them well," he added.
The beginning of the systematic replacing of the BSF by the CRPF in the state's summer capital will start from the downtown areas. Eight CRPF battalions would replace an equivalent number of BSF troops.
"We will first withdraw five battalions and in the second phase three more battalions will move out beginning November 15. These will be replaced by the CRPF," said Raman.
The BSF inspector general said that other battalions from the city's southern areas would be phased out early next year. "Other areas including south Kashmir too will be handed over to the CRPF," he said.
The replacement move comes about after New Delhi decided that the BSF, raised to man the borders, should be sent back to the border and relieved of their policing and counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir. "The BSF was initially tasked to guard the international border. BSF troops will be deployed on the border after its withdrawal from counter-insurgency duties s completed," asserted Raman.
He said the BSF is satisfied and content that it could meet the expectations of the nation. "The BSF, with its committed team of officers and men and strong leadership, created history by eliminating the top militant of the decade, Gazi Baba, who struck at the foundation of the Indian democratic institution," said Raman.
The inspector general said the BSF has so far killed 2,040 militants and apprehended 9,525 militants, while 918 anti-national elements had surrendered before the Border Security Force fro 1990 to October 2003.
He added that the BSF had so far recovered 5,495 weapons of all types besides 700,000 rounds, 785 wireless sets, and 6,950 kilogrammes of explosives.
"Fighting a proxy war sponsored by neighboring countries is not an easy task. These successes have taken its price. The BSF had to sacrifice the lives of 668 personnel, besides 3,191 injured from 1990 to October end this year. This year alone, so far, 24 BSF troopers were killed and 102 personnel injured," he said.
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