SRINAGAR: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will induct five more battalions in Kashmir from June 2008, taking the total strength of battalions deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to 77. This was revealed by CRPF director general (DG) SIS Ahmed while addressing a press conference. He also said that ateast 70 CRPF personnel have committed suicide in the state during past two years. “The new battalions, to be deployed from June next year, will relieve the BSF personnel, who are presently deployed in Kashmir. The induction of these battalions will complete the process of replacing and relieving of BSF personnel from the counter-militancy operations in Kashmir”, the DG CRPF said.
According to Ahmed, the CRPF alongwith local police and army would lead the counter militancy operations in Kashmir and BSF would assume its primary responsibility of guarding the borders. He said that with the induction of five more battalions, the total strength of CRPF battalions deployed in Jammu and Kashmir will rise to 77. “Already 72 battalions are deployed in Kashmir to carry out counter militancy operations in the state. Of these 72 battalions, 58 battalions are deployed in Kashmir while 14 others are stationed in Jammu”, the DG CRPF said.
Ahmed said that the militancy related incidents have come down in Kashmir. “The violence has come down significantly owing to the pressure maintained by security agencies on militants”, he said. He hoped that total peace in Kashmir would be restored soon. He said that CRPF has vacated 80 school, hospital and other buildings in Jammu and Kashmir.”Other buildings that are still under our occupation would be vacated in phased manners”, he said. The DG CRPF further said that 40 para-military personnel have committed suicide this year. “Last year 32 CRPF personnel ended their lives. Mental depression, domestic problems at home and remaining away from the family members is the major cause of these suicides”, he said.
He said that to reduce such incidents, a project by the name, Sanjeevani, has been launched. “We hope that this project would help us in preventing our men from committing suicides”, he said, adding, “The jawan would be allowed regular contact with his family members and would be allowed to visit his family in a phased manner”. The DG CRPF further said that the force is holding a recruitment drive in Kashmir shortly to absorb some unemployed educated youth. “Our recruitment drives in the state are always receiving good response from locals and youth are coming forward in large numbers to work in the CRPF”, he added.-SANA