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Indian troops shift base closer to LoC

March 21, 2010 18:26 IST

Reorientation of security forces was being worked out in Jammu and Kashmir with the Border Security Force likely to assume role of Road Opening Party (ROP) in certain terrorist-infested areas and the Indian Army being sent to the Line of Control amid reports that terrorists could make more desperate infiltration bids during coming months.

A proposal for taking out a battalion of BSF (1,000 personnel) from North Kashmir has been cleared by the Defence Ministry in consultation with the BSF and Jammu and Kashmir government and would be engaged in Road Opening Party for the movement of troops in various areas, a job which was being undertaken by Rashtriya Rifles.

The units of Rashtriya Rifles were being shifted closer to the border amid intelligence reports that Pakistan-based terror organisations would be making desperate attempts to enter into the valley from higher reaches in North Kashmir.

It may be mentioned that last year around this time, battle-hardened terrorists of Lashkar-e-Tayiba had managed to sneak into the Kashmir Valley from Gurez and Kupwara and later to other parts of the valley especially Sopore and Tral.

The presence of the Rashtraiya Rifles as the second line of defence would help in close coordination among the various units of the Army deployed along the LoC.

Besides this, the BSF had the expertise in RoP as the paramilitary force had bore the initial brunt of terrorism in early 1990s.

Another unit of the BSF was also being pooled in for RoP from an Air Force location and was awaiting in-principle approval of defence ministry. The depletion of the forces would be augmented by the Army and in-house security unit of the Indian Air Force.

BSF was being pushed in for the RoP as certain battalions of the CRPF was being pulled out of the terrorist-infested areas for their deployment in Naxal-infested areas. This is in addition to the reduction of 35,000 troops, which have been withdrawn from the state during the reign of the current National Conference-Congress government.

State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah recently acknowledged on he floor of state assembly that infiltration had increased by 98 per cent in 2009 as compared to 2008. Moreover, there were inputs indicating that many more terrorists were waiting across the LoC at different launching pads for infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir, he had said.

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