The Indian Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been deployed in Poonch, a district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, ANI news agency reported, citing sources.
The RAF is a specialised wing of the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) intended to deal with riot and crowd control situations.
Paramilitary forces have also been deployed in Doda, Kishtwar, as well as in Ramban, according to reports. Indian Air Force stations in Jammu, as well as in other places, are on high alert after army sources informed about possible terrorist attacks in the disputed region.
Jammu & Kashmir: Rapid Action Force (RAF) deployed in Poonch. pic.twitter.com/XlkDlKmOeH— ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2019
The reports come amid heightened tensions between Pakistan and India, as the two countries have reportedly been engaged in heavy gunfire over the last few days.
On 3 August, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor accused India of using cluster bombs across the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed region Jammu and Kashmir in violation of the Geneva Convention and international law. The remarks were made a day after Indian media reported on New Delhi’s decision to significantly boost its forces in Jammu and Kashmir by sending 28,000 troops from the country's Central Armed Police Force, in addition to 10,000 soldiers, deployed to the India-administered state last week.
Kashmir has been a source of clashes between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in the region in 1947. Following several armed conflicts, the two countries agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. Since then, both parties have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce, with continued instability in the region leading to the emergence of various militant groups.
The tensions escalated dramatically after a February 14 terrorist attack on an Indian military convoy in Jammu and Kashmir, in which more than 40 people were killed. The Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack.
Later in February, India blamed Pakistan for supporting terrorists and having a "direct hand" in the deadly attack, consequently carrying out an airstrike in the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir, targeting what it said was a training camp belonging to the terrorist group.