Srinagar: The Centre has sent hundred additional companies of paramilitary forces, amid the major crackdown on separatists in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Friday evening 100 additional companies of paramilitary soldiers were airlifted to Srinagar following notice from Home Ministry.
The Jammu and Kashmir police have come down heavily on separatists.
A number of separatist leaders and activists, mainly those belonging to rightwing Jamaat-e-Islami, were arrested in nocturnal raids on their homes across the Valley.
Meanwhile, about ten thousand more central police and paramilitary personnel are being moved in the Valley to maintain law and order and also supplement the security forces’ tough campaign against the separatist militants.
The requisition comes also ahead of the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court.
The Apex court is likely to take up for hearing a cluster of petitions seeking the removal of Article 35A on Monday.
Reports pouring in here said that the J&K police assisted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at places raided the homes of the leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and some other separatist parties in different parts of the Valley during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday and took many of them into custody.
Those detained include Amir (chief) of the Jamaat Dr. Abdul Hamid Fayaz, its spokesperson Zahid Ali and former and incumbent officer-bearers Ghulam Qadir Lone, Abdur Rouf, Mudasir Ahmed, Abdul Salam, Bakhtawar Ahmed, Muhammad Hayat, Bilal Ahmad, Ghulam Mohammad Dar, and many others.
Earlier Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was also taken into preventive custody by the police here on Friday.
The official sources said that the crackdown against the separatists will continue and more arrested are likely to take place in coming days.
The sources said that most of those taken into custody are being lodged in jails outside the Valley.
The crackdown on the separatists has come close on the heels of the deadly terror attack in the southern district of Pulwama in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed and several others wounded on February 14.
However, the Jamaat has sought to link the crackdown on separatists with the Centre’s “plan” to repeal Article 35A of the Constitution.
It said in a statement here, “Something seems fishy at this moment when Article 35A is listed in Supreme Court. The petitions against a constitutional provision which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir are being heard within days and the way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jamaat members prior to the hearing seems something fishy is happening behind the curtains”.(sic) The statement warned, “Any attempt of eroding or tempering with Article 35(A) is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir."
Meanwhile, the Union home ministry has called for an urgent deployment of one hundred more companies of central armed forces in Kashmir.
“We have to urgently deploy CAPFs in Jammu & Kashmir. It is requested to provide 100 coys of CAPFs (CRPF – 45, BSF-35, SSB-10 & ITBP 10) to Govt of J&K with immediate effect and till further orders.
IG (ops), CRPF is requested to ensure immediate movement of forces in coordination with IG (Ops) of all forces,” reads a Home Ministry letter to the State government, copies of which have been also sent to IG(Ops) to CRPF, BSF, ITBP, and SSB.