The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has withdrawn its elite CoBRA force from Jammu and Kashmir, following objections from some senior officials of the paramilitary force. The move has highlighted the internal divisions within the CRPF and raised questions about the government’s strategy for dealing with the Maoist insurgency.
The CoBRA force was deployed in Kashmir for the first time in mid-September 2023, after a decline in Maoist violence in Bihar and Jharkhand. However, some senior CRPF officers objected to the deployment, arguing that the unit was specifically trained to counter Maoists in jungle warfare and that the threat of Maoist violence was still not over in Bihar and Jharkhand.
The CoBRA force was raised in 2008 to counter the Maoist insurgency, which has claimed the lives of thousands of security personnel and civilians over the years. The force is trained in Maoist intelligence techniques and strategy, and is deployed across Maoist-affected regions in the country.
The withdrawal of the CoBRA force from Kashmir is a significant development, as it comes at a time when the government is facing increasing criticism for its handling of the Maoist insurgency. The move has also raised concerns about the government’s ability to coordinate its counter-insurgency operations effectively.
It remains to be seen how the government will address the internal divisions within the CRPF and its strategy for dealing with the Maoist insurgency in the wake of the CoBRA withdrawal from Kashmir.