June 2021 News

Troop Influx: Rumour Mill In Kashmir On The Spin, Politicians Seek Clarification From Government

8 June 2021

Srinagar: The sudden influx of paramilitary forces in parts of Jammu and Kashmir has triggered rumours of a possible 'big development' being pushed by the Centre in the Union Territory with several mainstream leaders fearing re-arrest seeking clarification from the government. What added impetus to already buzzing rumour mills was Pakistan on June 7 expressing serious concern over reports of India's purported plans to trigger new 'administrative and demographic changes' in Kashmir. Reports said that as many as 200 companies of troops have been re-inducted across UT in the past few days. This is the first time since the abrogation of Article 370 of Jammu and Kashmir that such a heavy deployment of forces is taking place in the UT. Police officials, however, said that the movement was part of the re-induction of forces, who were on poll duties in other states, in the UT. 'These troops are returning from the states where elections were held recently. They are being re-inducted. It's not a new deployment,' Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar told news channel NDTV. Assembly elections were held in four states and Union Territories and the results were announced on May 2. The most popular among the rumours doing round is the 'Centre's fresh plan to carve out new divisions out of the Kashmir Valley and merge few districts of the Jammu division with it.' Another rumour speculates that the 'Centre is planning to convert Jammu, part of J&k UT into a state'. Holding of the annual pilgrimage to Amarnath or assembly elections are also reasons being cited for sudden force deployment. The annual Amarnath Yatra, cancelled last year due to pandemic, starts on June 28. But the administration in Jammu and Kashmir has not yet officially announced whether or not to hold the pilgrimage this year. On June 7, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing serious concern over reports of India's purported plans to trigger new 'administrative and demographic changes' in Kashmir. 'We have noted with serious concern reports indicating that India might be plotting further division, bifurcation and demographic changes in Kashmir. No new instrument of occupation shall have any legal effect,' Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said. The statement comes after a meeting between Jammu and Kashmir's Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other officials in New Delhi on June 6. Many mainstream leaders of Kashmir, who were arrested in August 2019 in a crackdown, feared rearrest and demanded clarification from the government. While rumours are flying thick and fast - should we be ready for second semester? MLA's hostel 2.0? - Tanvir Sadiq (@tanvirsadiq) June 6, 2021 'While rumours are flying thick and fast. Should we be ready for the second semester? MLA's hostel 2.0?' National Conference leader Tanveer Sadiq said, in a tweet. Sadiq was one of the mainstream leaders arrested ahead of abrogation of Article 370 in 2019. People's Conference chairman Sajjad Lone also sought clarification from the government. We want to believe even in rumours rumoured to be rumours. We love rumours don't we. Last few days has been all about rumours and conspiracies. They say don't believe a rumour to b true until govt actually denies it. - Sajad Lone (@sajadlone) June 7, 2021