Pulwama: Soldiers during an encounter with militant in Ratnipora village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Feb 12, 2019. Two Indian Army soldiers and a militant were killed in the encounter. (Photo: IANS)

All major entry and exit points of the city have been taken over by the CAPF with token presence of local police

As many as 28,000 troops of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) are being deployed in Kashmir Valley, in addition to the 10,000 troops which were deployed there last week.

Verbal orders were issued to the security forces in wake of the leaks of ‘troop movement’, causing anxiety in Jammu and Kashmir.

Over 281 companies of paramilitary forces have been received in Kashmir Valley in the last four days, a top official told India Today.

A top source said the deployment was to guard against the “possible” protests about a decision or event of the government. The forces have been put on high alert.

Several shifting statements at the top level have added to the confusion. Initially, top J&K cop, ADG Muneer Khan said, “It was to rest and recuperate forces in valley.”

While government sources said that an input of a possible terror attack was received. One of the top BJP leaders also said, “Government was pumping in security to have Indian flags flying on August 15 by Panch and Sarpanch. While the J&K BJP core group met in Delhi and spoke of the party’s preparation for the Assembly polls.”

The decision to send the troops came after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval returned from a three day (from July 24 to 26) visit to Kashmir Valley last week. Sources said he met senior security and intel grid officers and reviewed the law and order situation in the state, which is still under the President’s rule. He has also said to have met the COAS at the Amarnath cave for half an hour.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said, “There is no plan to scrap Article-35A”. Article-35A defines permanent residents of the state and bars outsiders from purchasing and owning immovable property.

A concerned former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah along with National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and MP Justice (retired) Masoodi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed their concerns over the Centre’s move over Article-35A.

Omar Abdullah tweeted on Thursday that the party will discuss the situation with other parties in Valley. He said in tweet: “Having received a number of requests especially from @MehboobaMufti Sahiba & as a follow up to today’s meeting with @PMOIndia, @JKNC_ President Dr Farooq Abdullah Sb will be reaching out to political leaders of the state to meet on Sunday to discuss the prevailing situation.”

The troop build-up has fuelled speculations in Kashmir over abrogation of Article-35A with Kashmir-based parties warning the Centre of dire consequences if Centre chooses to do so.

Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti warned saying, “Touching Article-35A will be like touching a dynamite, it will burn not just the hand but also the entire body will turn to ashes.”

Before the Lok Sabha polls, Home Minister Amit Shah had announced the scrapping of Article-35A and Article 370 to ensure the state, which has special status, completely merges with India.

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