Security forces start preparation for long winter in Kashmir valley 

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Wahid Bhat | Srinagar

Security forces have started making preparations for long winter season in Kashmir valley. In wake of abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status article 370 and 35a in August 05 besides divided Jammu and Kashmir into two union Territories Jammu Kashmir and Ladkah, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) were moved in to Kashmir as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in the Valley.

Nearly 80,000 additional troops were deployed to in Jammu and Kashmir to maintain internal security in August. As winter approaches, security forces have intensified their efforts to procure winter clothing for these troops. 

According to reports that the headquarters of most CAPFs in Kashmir are busy arranging winter clothing, Bukhari and heaters for these troops so that they can’t face any problem during the long winter in Kashmir valley.

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Security officials said since this is one of the largest troop deployments in the Valley, large scale arrangements are being made to cope up with the challenges that may come up during winter.

Reports said that due to the large number of troops in Kashmir, procurement of weapons began nearly two months ago. Besides the sub-zero temperatures in the region during winter, closed shops also pose challenge to security forces in meeting their winter requirements.

However DGP Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbagh Singh said, “All security forces have a procurement wing that is making the requisite arrangement. Wherever necessary, the Jammu and Kashmir Police will also help them.”

November marks the onset of winter in Jammu and Kashmir. At many places, temperatures fall to below zero degree Celsius.

Last year, in the wake of the panchayat elections, a similar drive to procure winter clothing was carried out for troops deployed in J&K. However, this year additional deployment was carried in J&K out during monsoon, because of which battalions did not carry sufficient winter clothing and equipment.

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In J&K, the severe winter months include the period of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, a 40-day period of harsh winter beginning on December 21 and ending on January 31. Besides the procurements, security forces are also moving troops who were housed in tents to proper shelters. A senior CAPF officer said, “We will ensure that every troop on the ground has adequate facility and winter clothing. No one will be left out.”

Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Union Home Ministry discussed various aspects of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, and its implementation when the two Union Territories come into existence on October 31.

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As per the Act, Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh will be created on October 31, a Home Ministry official said.

Uncertainty in Kashmir is looming large due to abrogation of Article 370 and 35A.  

All shops, business establishments, fuel refilling stations, schools are shut as Kashmir Valley is on edge since 5 August 2019, when BJP led government scrapped article 370 and article 35A besides divided the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two union Territories (UT) one is Ladkah and Jammu and Kashmir. 

Communication blockage persisted for the consecutive 65th day across the valley, reports of shutdown also purred from other parts of Kashmir valley even mainstream parties like national conference and people Democratic Party with former chief minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti under detention.