New Delhi (Sputnik) – As the situation in the Kashmir valley remains out of control, India has decided to deploy its Border Security Force (BSF) within the city of Srinagar.
For the first time since 2004, BSF troops have been called upon in Srinagar to control the protest. Sources say that the government has decided to deploy 2,600 BSF men in the city of over a million people. The first time the BSF was deployed in Srinagar, in 1991, it sent a force of six battalions to curb militant activity. However, in 2004, the Indian government at the time decided to withdraw the BSF from counter-insurgency operations and directed the troops to look after the basic duties related to the management of the country’s borders. In September 2005, BSF were withdrawn from Srinagar and other para-military forces, the CRPF, took charge of the anti-insurgency operation in Srinagar.
Apart from BSF, 3,000 personnel from other paramilitary forces have also been deployed in the valley. More than 100 people were injured in clashes between protestors and security personnel on Monday alone.
Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, says that the ongoing protest in the valley was pre-planned and blamed a ‘handful of people’ behind this situation. Addressing a public rally, Mehbooba Mufti says, “Those indulging in violence are only a handful of people. Most Kashmiris want peace. They understand that the kind of freedom Kashmir is enjoying today doesn’t exist in in Islamic countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey and Pakistan. When a gun enters a country, it is no longer free, no matter how much it claims to be free.”
To date, 68 people have been killed and more than 6,000 injured in ongoing unrest which has lasted since July 8, when a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Burhan Wani, was killed in an encounter with security forces.