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J&K owes Rs 2600 cr to paramilitary forces for their deployment

The state government owes various paramilitary forces Rs 2600 crore for internal security and law and order duties.

The cost of deployment of these forces has reached this amount since 2009, a year after the 2008 Amarnath land row that was marked by the return of street protests in a big way.

Central Reserve Police Force’s bill alone is Rs 2543 crore. At present, 48 battalions of the force are deployed in Kashmir Valley alone: 23 in Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts and the remaining 25 in other seven districts of the Valley.The state government also owes Rs 7.88 crore to Sashastra Seema Bal and Rs 1.16 crore to Indo Tibetan Border Police.

For services rendered by its police force from 2009 to 2013, Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa had asked his then Kashmir counterpart Haseeb Drabu to clear the bill.“I shall be grateful if you could kindly intervene and expedite the reimbursement of the above state claims of the Punjab government,” Dhindsa had written.

Struggling with chronic financial crunch, the J&K government had repeatedly requested the central government to waive off the bill, but in vain, a senior bureaucrat said. Two former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had made such requests to home ministry.“It is totally irrational on part of the Centre to charge us for deployment of its forces here given the extraordinary situation we have been facing since 1990. J&K is not merely a law and order problem,” the official said.

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