With the culmination of annual Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir on Tuesday, the state government has at disposal at least 4,800 more soldiers to tackle civil unrest that is spreading deep into the peripheries and rural pockets in the state.
J-K governor NN Vohra, also chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, expressed satisfaction over the smooth conduct of the yatra. "I praise the close synergy between the security forces, the civil and police administration, all the stakeholders, the local population and the Shrine Board in ensuring a hassle free yatra," said Vohra.
More than 4.50 lakh pilgrims, highest in the last one decade, visited the shrine this year. Hundreds of police and CRPF personnel were diverted to ensure smooth pilgrimage, which led to the dearth of forces when unrest broke out in the state.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in July 2010, requested more forces from New Delhi to tackle widespread street protests at the peak of the recent unrest, which started on June 11 when a boy was killed in a police firing. Since then, 62 people were killed in security forces' firing.
The state government can now move around 48 companies of CRPF, posted for the yatra duty since first week of June, to troubled spots in Kashmir.
"All the companies were shifted from existing strength for the Amarnath yatra. These companies will have to return to their base camps," said CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi.
The J-K government has already shipped 21 companies of the CRPF and three Rapid Action Force (RAF) companies to dissipate street protesters and restore normalcy in the state. More than 11,00 police and security personnel were injured in violent demonstration between June 11 and July 22.