The BSF on Saturday was brought back to Srinagar after 14 years as the Centre moved 100 additional companies of paramilitary troops to Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, officials said.
Home ministry sources in Delhi said that 100 companies of paramilitary forces, including 35 from the BSF, are being deployed as part of a routine pre-election exercise ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Officials here said the BSF has been brought back to the valley after 14 years. They said the force was temporarily deployed in the valley – for a week – during the unrest of 2016, but was withdrawn immediately. The deployment comes amid simmering Indo-Pak tensions in the wake of the February 14 Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that killed 40 CRPF personnel, the officials said.
The government has also launched a massive crackdown on separatists and detained over 150 people, mainly from the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, ahead of a hearing in the Supreme Court on Article 35-A of the Constitution.
The BSF has been deployed at five places – four in Srinagar and one in Budgam districts – and has replaced the CRPF, the officials said. They said the move is aimed at strengthening the law and order grid presently available in the valley. “The BSF along with the ITBP companies shall take over the static guard duties of the CRPF companies deployed in Kashmir zone,” they said.
Apart from 35 companies of the BSF, 45 companies of the CRPF and 10 companies of the ITBP and the SSB each have also been moved to Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.