77 per cent buildings vacated by security forces in north Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 29 (UNI) About 77 per cent buildings occupied by the security forces since the onset of militancy has been vacated in north Kashmir district of Baramulla.

The remaining buildings will be vacated soon, Deputy Commissioner Baramulla said. He was reacting to a news report that security forces continued to occupy government and private buildings in the district.

He said out of thirteen government buildings pertaining to essential services occupied by the Security Forces, 10 buildings have already been vacated.

The government Women's College, he also vacated by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) 53 batallion on January 18, 2008 and has been handed over to the College authorities.

The security forces will also vacate Agriculture College Wadoora building after construction of pre-fabricated sheds and huts were completed.

He said government has decided that the security forces presently occupying DIET Sopore building vacate it when the old hospital is shifted to the newly constructed hospital building.

Almost all buildings, including hotels at the Dal Lake, in Srinagar and other parts of the valley have been already vacated.

It was during a high level meeting between Defence Minister A K Antony and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here on October 27, a deadline for withdrawal of the security forces from government buildings was fixed.

Mr Antony had said top priority was being accorded in getting the government infrastructure in Kashmir vacated by the security forces, and November 30 was fixed as the deadline for the troops to leave the school buildings and health institutions in the Valley.

On Mr Azad's request, the security forces were asked to vacate all school buildings and health infrastructure besides Kokernag tourist resort and the Nigeen club, currently under their use by November 30 last year.

Mr Antony told Mr Azad that the Defence Ministry would support any initiative for development of infrastructure in the strife-torn State.

As many as 72 government buildings were vacated by the security forces in the Kashmir valley during September and October last year.

UNI BAS SK VC1902

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