The CRPF is the biggest paramilitary force present in the Kashmir Valley. Their basic role is maintenance of law and order, conducting operations based on intelligence, and providing law and order support to Army operations. After an operation has been concluded, it is the job of the CRPF to manage angry, stone-pelting crowds. In today’s attack, at least 37 jawans have been killed.
More than 60,000 CRPF personnel are deployed across the state. They are constantly deployed in all districts of Kashmir.
Before 2005, the job of providing law and order support was with the BSF. But the BSF is now deployed only on the borders — on border-guarding duty, and has no role to play in maintaining law and order.
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The last attack in which the CRPF suffered casualties was in July last year, when a picket came under attack by militants in Anantnag. It left two CRPF men dead and one injured. Before that, a CRPF camp in Srinagar was attacked by terrorists in February 2018. The militants were neutralised after a 30-hour gunbattle.
Police sources have said Thursday’s attack was carried out by a lone Jaish-e-Muhammad suicide bomber, who rammed an explosives-laden car into the CRPF bus. However, there is no official word yet on how the attack was carried out.
In recent years, the Valley has not seen many IED attacks, which were once routine in the 1990s. In 2017, there was only one IED attack; in 2018, there were fewer than 10.
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