Five more CRPF battalions to be inducted in J

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Srinagar, Nov 30 (UNI) The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the largest para-military force in the country, will induct another five battalions in Jammu and Kashmir by June next year to relieve the Border Security Force (BSF) of counter-insurgency operations.

Addressing a news conference here today, CRPF Director General S I S Ahmed said the force at present has 72 battalions in the strife-torn state with 58 deployed in Kashmir and 14 in Jammu.

Another five CRPF battalions would be inducted in Jammu and Kashmir by June next year, taking the total strength to 77 battalions in the militancy-affected state, he added.

Mr Ahmed said the induction would thus complete the process of replacing and relieving the BSF of counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

With the replacement, the BSF would assume its primary responsibility -- guarding the borders -- in the troubled state.

The CRPF, which is responsible for maintaining internal security in the country, has at present a strength of 201 battalions with more than 260,000 personnel and officials.

The paramilitary force has deployed about 32 battalions in Maoist-affected states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa.

Mr Ahmed further said the CRPF had launched a massive recruitment drive in Jammu and Kashmir. ''The youth of Jammu and Kashmir are coming forward in a big way to work in the CRPF. Our recruitment policy gives preference to the youth of the troubled areas.'' The Director General said the percentage of youth from Jammu and Kashmir in the CRPF would increase significantly in the future.

UNI

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