India has no plan to call back additional troops from IOK: Report » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, October 31 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the additional Indian forces’ personnel deployed to prevent demonstrations against the repeal of special status of the territory are gearing up for long Kashmir valley winters as the Indian authorities have no plans for sending them back.

As many as 700 companies of paramilitary forces were brought to Kashmir valley in August. These troops are in addition to the over 600,000 paramilitary personnel who are deployed in the streets, roads and buildings in Valley, media reports said.

With Delhi giving no signal on reduction of troops in the Valley, a media report quoted a senior officer of the Indian central armed police forces as saying, “The last time I asked Delhi how long the additional troops were supposed to be in Kashmir, I was told not to ask this question before next April. So we have to prepare for a long winter.”

The additional troops have been putting up in government buildings, schools, under-construction buildings, warehouses, abandoned homes and occupied residential houses of the people and have turned them into camps.

“None of these are suitable for winter. A very harsh winter will set mid-November onward. So we are running against time to erect suitable accommodation and procuring winter essentials,” the report quoted another officer as saying.

Among the important acquisitions are insulated pre-fabricated barracks. “This is for the first time that we are procuring these, as earlier we have never needed them. These barracks have insulation sheets inside. The CRPF alone is procuring more than 40 of these,” the officer said.

Even the concrete buildings for accommodation are being reinforced with tin sheets, the report quoting sources said. “All these accommodations have to be given kerosene-fired bukharis,” the officer said.

Since all additional troops have been drawn from the plains, they never had winter clothing suitable for Kashmir. “Thermals, jackets, blankets and sleeping bags are being procured for each person,” the officer said.

Given the communication blockade and lack of adequate transport, an officer said, that all procurement has to be made online, according to government rules. “We had to make some procurement from Delhi – a special Internet connection had to be established in a camp office,” he added.

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