NEW DELHI: The Army has moved out two additional infantry brigades deployed in Kashmir in September following massive anti-India uprising after popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wanis killing in July last year. We moved in these troops when the situation warranted it. We have pulled them out when the situation so warranted, an Army official said. He added that the pull out started in December and was completed in January.
The brigades were deployed as part of Operation Calmdown that was launched to restore normalcy two months after Wanis killing that led to massive public uprising and killing of at least hundreds of people throughout the summer of 2016. They were deployed in volatile areas of Kupwara, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts in South Kashmir.
The brigades operated along with Rashtriya Rifles to restore normalcy.
These were our reserve formations which were sent by (the Armys Udhampur-based) Northern Command to Kashmir. They are required for our conventional role, which remains our utmost priority, said the official.
The move to pull out the troops suggests an improvement in the security situation despite the recent spate of fire-fights between the security forces and militants particularly in South Kashmir, which has led to nine casualties for the Army this year. The Army has killed 25 militants in retaliation. This is more than double the number of militants eliminated in the same period last year.
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