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CRPF takes over from BSF in J&K

By Our Staff Reporter

JAMMU NOV. 17. The Central Reserve Police Force today began to take control of the urban parts of the Kashmir Valley from the Border Security Force.

"We would be able to hand over complete charge of the area to the north of Jhelum by the end of this month and the total withdrawal of 52 battalions would take place by 2005," said Srinivasan, DIG (BSF).

The BSF, with more than 30,000 men, had been conducting operations in the urban areas and the Rashtriya Rifles in the rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir. The issue comes to a full circle as in March 1990, the BSF had taken control of the urban centres from the CRPF due to deterioration in the security situation. Despite initial setbacks in the early 1990s, when militancy was at its peak, it was gradually able to check terrorist activities.

In December 1991, the BSF moved into Sopore, Anantnag, Bijibehara, Bandipur and Baramulla and began crackdown operations. Soon its intelligence wing, the `G' branch, was activated.

The first major success for the BSF came on June 22, 1990, when it eliminated the deputy chief of the Hizbul Mujhaideen, Mohammad Abdullah Bangroo. The Al-Umar chief, Mustaq Ahmed Zargar alias Latrum, was arrested but was later handed over in exchange of passengers in the Kandahar IA hijack case.

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