Over 200 additional CRPF companies for J

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) The CRPF, chief para-military force assisting the military in Jammu and Kashmir, was rushing over 200 additional companies to the state in view of apprehensions of escalated violence during the forthcoming Assembly elections.

''In all, 388 companies would be present in the state during the 7-phase Assembly elections, as we expect a rise in violence going by the poll boycott call given by Hurriyat in Jammu and Kashmir,'' CRPF Director General V K Joshi told the media.

''Throwing grenades at security forces is the most likely thing to happen during this period, because it is the most economic way to cause maximum casualty and damage,'' Mr Joshi noted.

''Though we have no specific input as of now about any poll disruption plot, grenade attacks are what we feel is the most likely,'' he said, adding all through the state's history, it has been seen that as elections approach, violence increases.

''We already have 72 companies stationed in the state and for the November-December polls, we are beefing up security measures with additional 216 companies,'' Mr Joshi said.

On the CRPF's elite 'Cobra Battalion', the DG said of the ten battalions sanctioned, two would be raised during this financial year.

''By March-April, the two battalions would be ready for deployment. The other eight would be raised in three years time,'' he added.

Mr Joshi also informed that there was no response from the government yet on its request for a separate intelligence unit despite more than two years having passed by. ''That would a big force multiplier and we have not received any information from the government on it as yet.'' UNI AN ATI HS1615

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