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CRPF takes over security control of Srinagar from BSF

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
September 12, 2005 21:47 IST
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The Central Reserve Police Force took over complete security charge of Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar from the Border Security Force on Monday with the remaining 5 BSF battalions pulling out of the summer capital.

The CRPF has posted 25 battallions in the city areas vacated by the BSF.

"The CRPF has taken over complete charge of security in the city on Monday with the total withdrawal of BSF troops positioned on ground in Srinagar city. In all we have deployed 25 battalions of the CRPF in capital city after the withdrawal of the BSF," Inspector General of CRPF Kashmir Ranjeet Sinha told a news conference in Srinagar on Monday evening.

He said it was on the recommendation of the group of ministers after Kargil war that BSF had been sent back to the borders for which the force was raised.

Sinha strongly contested some media reports which had said that the CRPF was at a disadvantage in tackling with the high tech insurgency in Kashmir as compared to BSF.

"We are fully trained and equipped to take up the challenge. It is a disinformation campaign against CRPF which tends to convey an impression that my force would not rise up to the occasion," he said.

"Every security organization had been attacked by the militants and fidayeens and such attacks are no commentary of the capacity of these organization to deal with them."

"Our camps are located in densely populated areas and whenever we have been attacked we killed the intruders," Sinha added.

He said the CRPF personnel posted on ground had been "thoroughly briefed to respect human rights and be people friendly while discharging their duties."

The decision to start the systematic replacement of the BSF by the CRPF was taken 2 years back, but its implementation on ground was delayed following reservations expressed by some intelligence agencies about the wisdom to replace the BSF when militant violence was still taking place across Kashmir and to which the capital city Srinagar was no exception.

The systematic phasing out of the BSF from summer capital began two years back from downtown areas of the city when 8 BSF battalions were replaced by CRPF.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar