//CRPF-BSF turf war hots up

CRPF-BSF turf war hots up

Srinagar • In the face of growing acts of violence by militants in Jammu and Kashmir, two Central para-military forces, the BSF and the CRPF, are working at cross purposes, which has caused serious concern in the Union Home Ministry.

The BSF, which was in-charge of counter insurgency operations for long 15 years from 1990 to 2005 before being asked to hand over the operations to the CRPF, appears to be engaged in a turf war in the Valley with the CRPF at lower ranks. This is going to be a handicap.

National Security Advisor, M K Narayanan, who flew on a day’s visit to the summer Capital on June 21, has asked all security agencies to ensure synergy among themselves with the one-point agenda of “hitting” at the militants. Narayanan, in a tough message, told senior officers of the army, CRPF, BSF, state police and IB to put their heads together and work as a team to combat militancy, sources said. The top bosses of the BSF and CRPF in Delhi declined to comment on record about these problems but sources within the two para-military forces conceded that there are problems.

Though the CRPF took command of fighting militancy in the state in August 2005, the BSF wants to continue with operations in the Kashmir Valley and the border guarding force was showing reluctance in bowing out of counter-insurgency operations and is using its intelligence wing in show up the mistakes of the paramilitary force. The decision to let the CRPF take charge of counter-insurgency operations in the country was recommended by the K Subrahmanyam committee on Kargil so that the BSF could focus on its primary task of guarding the frontiers.

Senior Home Ministry officials, who preferred not to be named, said the chiefs of the BSF and CRPF had been asked to pass on an order to their men on the ground to work in tandem. However, the sources said the actual situation is very different.