After the return of paramilitary forces to Kashmir, the market of rumors heated up

Srinagar, Jun 8 (PTI) Rumors have been rife in Jammu and Kashmir for the last three days after the withdrawal of 6,000 paramilitary personnel from election duty. These range from the re-division of union territories to the announcement of elections after the reorganization of districts.

Even mainstream leaders are not untouched by these speculations and People’s Conference chief Sajjad Lone tweeted that it seems the things being discussed are all rumours. Yet the market for rumors is hot.

Rumors started spreading after 60 companies of paramilitary forces returned here. These companies were stationed here since August 5, 2019, when the state was bifurcated into two union territories by withdrawing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. These companies of paramilitary forces have returned after completing their election duty in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, officials said.

However, since Saturday, the movement of forces, including Home Minister Amit Shah and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha’s discussion with officials in Delhi fueled these rumors and despite repeated efforts the officials failed to put an end to them. Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh, who is in charge of the Jammu region, denied any fresh deployment of forces in a tweet, but his statement was not noticed on social media.

Many people using social media are talking about the re-partition of Jammu and Kashmir, with the belief that Jammu will get statehood while Kashmir will remain a union territory.

People of Kashmir Valley are inquiring about the possible shutdown of internet and phone services. The government had taken such a step before the abrogation of most of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which was applicable to the erstwhile state.

The sudden visit of Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari and Lone to Delhi has fueled these rumours.

Lone quietly returned to Srinagar on Friday evening, and tweeted on Saturday, “Woke up on a lovely morning in Srinagar. Found out from Twitter that I am in Delhi.”

Some leaders were seen asking whether the reports that the MLA hostel in Srinagar was being cleaned for his new residence was true.

The MLA Hostel was a sub-jail where several politicians were detained for months following the Centre’s August 2019 decision.

Senior journalist Fahad Shah tweeted, “Top police officers, bureaucrats, officers (who were part of the recent meeting) say that the rumors circulating in J&K are baseless. Only time will tell about this.”

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