Air India has ferried around 5,000 army and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel to Srinagar in special night flights in recent weeks as boots on the ground are being strengthened in Jammu and Kashmir after the Pulwama attack.
There are now Delhi-Leh-Delhi flights twice a week chartered for Border Security Force (BSF) troopers apart from a separate flight for the army on the same route. Another regular Air India chartered service is going to be added for the army on the Delhi-Leh-Chandigarh route.
After the February 14 Pulwama attack, the Centre had come under criticism for not flying the soldiers as road transport made them vulnerable to terror attacks.
As the situation remain tense in Jammu and Kashmir after crackdown on terrorists by security forces post-Pulwama and the prevailing political situation against the backdrop of Supreme Court taking up challenges to the Constitution's Section 35A, the Centre had decided to dispatch 45 additional companies (around 135 personnel) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 35 companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) and 10 companies each of the Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Indo-Tibetan Police Force (ITBP).
The diversion of the fleet has forced Air India to stretch its resources as 17 of its aircraft are already grounded because of technical issues. The domestic aviation circuit is already reeling under the impact of shortage of aircraft.
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