Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has urged union home minister Rajnath Singh to redeploy Indo-Tibetan Police (ITBP) along the Chamba-Jammu border.
Dhumal, who was in New Delhi to attend the meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party's national executive, met Rajnath Singh and urged him to deploy ITBP along this border as it is a militancy-prone area.
Dhumal pointed out that Kashmiri militants who crossed the state border killed nearly 35 people in Satrundi and wounded 11 others in Kalaban of Chamba district on August 3, 1998. The militants also killed a police constable, who was returning from Pangi after a vacation.
“After the incident, the then BJP-led NDA government had deployed a battalion of ITBP along the border and expenditure was borne by the Centre itself,” said Dhumal in a memorandum submitted to the home minister.
“After the Congress government came into power, the ITBP battalion was withdrawn from the post along the Chamba border. After withdrawal of ITBP, reports of suspicious activities have been increasing,” said Dhumal. He also said that the state was not itself capable of handling the problem and the Centre should redeploy the ITBP. “Without help of the Centre, the state cannot get rid of the problem,” he added.
Referring to media reports, Dhumal said, last month there were some reports of terrorist activities along the Chamba-Jammu border. He said, “The neighboring state of Jammu and Kashmir is a terrorism-prone area and the state border should be guarded by the ITBP in the wake of several reports coming time and again,” he said.
Earlier in 2012, the ITBP was withdrawn from 64-km sensitive and terrorist-infested border stretch between Jammu and Kashmir and Chamba. There were 24 posts along the border adjoining Doda and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Of these posts, nine were guarded by the ITBP and the remaining by the India Reserve Battalion of Himachal Police.
The central government had stated that the ITBP was withdrawn from this border as it remained peaceful for the past 14 years from 1998 to 2012.
Himachal Pradesh shares nearly 224 km of boundary with Jammu and Kashmir. ITBP was deployed in1998 when Pakistan-trained terrorists killed 35 labourers in two separate incidents in Satrundi and Kalaban in Chamba district.