BSF To Finally Bid Adieu To Srinagar
16 August 2005
The Indian Express
Srinagar: After a prolonged delay, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will complete the replacement of Border Security Force (BSF) in the Srinagar city by the end of this month. This follows a central government decision to phase out BSF from counter-insurgency operations. Inspector General, CRPF, Ranjit Sinha told The Indian Express that the move to replace the BSF with the CRPF has already begun. By the end of this month, Srinagar city will be with the CRPF. A total of nine battalions of the BSF will be replaced with the CRPF - five in Srinagar city and four in Anantnag town, Sinha said. The IG, CRPF, said the CRPF men will undergo pre-induction training so that they can effectively deal with militancy. The process has already started, he said. Sources said the CRPF battalions earmarked for replacing BSF were given special training by the Army to meet this objective. The changeover is being carried out on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up after Kargil intrusions to suggest measures to strengthen the country's security system. The group had suggested that each force be deployed for the duties it had been created for. In this context, it had said that BSF was created for guarding borders and it should be sent back to the frontiers. The BSF, along with the J&K Police, is presently in charge of all the counter-insurgency operations in the Srinagar city. While the CRPF was initially scheduled to replace the BSF across Kashmir by March this year, the transition could not be effected as per the programme. IG CRPF said he is not in a position to say when the CRPF will completely replace the BSF in the Valley. 'It is a long process. But one thing I can say is that in the first phase, we will take over the city to be followed by other towns. Then afterwards, we will be in the peripheries as well,' he said.