Kashmir is a region in India which has always been heavily militarized. In fact, Kashmir is considered to be among the most heavily militarized zones in the world.
The Indian government cites its own reasons for the heavy militarization which to some extent has evidence on the ground. There is a lot of infiltrations that happens from Pakistan side which supports the ’cause of Kashmir’. The definition of that ’cause’ is so unclear that all sides are also confused.
Recent developments where the central government had strengthened the paramilitary strength by 10,000 has now been further increased with mobilization of 28,000 more paramilitary personnel to the Kashmir valley. No reason was given for sudden deployment of 28,000 more soldiers.
Most of this security personnel are from the Central Reserve Police Force and they are being posted on duties in vulnerable spots in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir, news agency PTI reported.
Panic among locals
Even for the most heavily militarized zones in the world, the deployment of 280 companies of paramilitary force is no ordinary event.
The locals have started stockpiling essential items for the unforeseen events that may follow.
Why extra deployment in Kashmir at this time?
The additional deployment of troops in Kashmir valley follows National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visit to the state last week which is under President’s rule at present.
The Kashmiri politicians, however, have slammed the move to deploy additional troops in the Kashmir Valley.
The former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti had stated that the Centre needs to “rethink and overhaul its Kashmir policy.”
“Centre’s decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops to the valley has created fear psychosis amongst people. There is no dearth of security forces in Kashmir. J&K is a political problem which won’t be solved by military means. GOI needs to rethink & overhaul its policy,” Mehbooba tweeted.
Few people in the Kashmir Valley have sought to link the deployment of additional troops in Kashmir with a possible move to scrap Article 35A that grants special rights to permanent residents of the state.
However, the possible reason for the extra deployment of troops in Kashmir seems more to do about conducting a peaceful assembly election at the same time getting firm control over foreign infiltration when it seems to be weakening.