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CRPF replaces BSF in Kashmir

By Aijaz Hussain in Srinagar
September 13, 2005 10:50 IST
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The Border Security Force on Tuesday announced the replacement of its troops engaged in counter-insurgency operations with the Central Reserve Police Force in Srinagar. The BSF will, however, continue its anti-insurgency operations in the countryside of Jammu and Kashmir.

Announcing this at Srinagar, BSF Inspector-General J B Negi said nine battalions (about 9,000 troops) of the BSF were withdrawn from Srinagar on Tuesday.

"In pursuance of the Union government's order, the BSF has been directed to look after its basic duties of border guarding and hand over the counter-insurgency operations to the CRPF," Negi said.

The BSF, with a strength of six battalions, was inducted into the anti-insurgency operations in the strife-torn Kashmir Valley in 1990. The strength of the BSF in the state rose to 34 battalions from 1993 onwards.

The de-induction started in 2003 and initially eight battalions were withdrawn from north Kashmir. "The complete withdrawal of BSF will be achieved by 2007," Negi said.

The Kashmir chief of the BSF said since1990, they had killed as many as 2,700 militants and arrested over 10,000 of them. He also claimed to have killed 38 top guerrilla commanders during this period.

Negi said only one battalion of the BSF would continue to function in Srinagar for the security of Raj Bhawan and Gupkar Road, which house the residence of the former chief minister Farooq Abdullah and different intelligence agencies of the central government.

More news: J&K

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Aijaz Hussain in Srinagar
Source: source