Omar Abdullah rules out immediate withdrawal of CRPF from J-K

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Srinagar, July 7 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday ruled out immediate withdrawal of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from the state, saying that the state police would have to expand in numbers, equipment and levels of training before taking any action.

Abdullah, who had meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Monday, informed that he had raised the issue of withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in a phased manner.

"We have over 70 battalions of the CRPF and the state police's strength is not even one-third of it. Five battalions of the state police which includes India Reserve Police are undergoing training. So any rash decision in this aspect can be detrimental to state s security," Abdullah said.

"A lot is required to be done in terms of augmenting the numbers of J and K police, upgrading their equipment and improving their levels of training," he added.

Meanwhile, withdrawal of the AFSPA is being planned in a phased manner.

"The issue of AFSPA was flagged by me and the Union Home Minister in the first meeting itself and now we are toying with an idea of having it withdrawn in a phased manner, where the violence is nil or bare minimum, in such areas this law need not be applicable," Abdullah said.

While Abdullah refused to provide any detail about the areas from where AFSPA would be withdrawn, according to reports, the Centre is likely to withdraw forces in a phased manner from Srinagar, Budgam, Jammu and Kathua districts of the state, as these districts have registered minimum violence for past one year. (ANI)

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