Forces to vacate Kashmir schools, hospitals by Nov 30

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Srinagar, Oct 27 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today said top priority has been accorded in getting the government infrastructure in Kashmir vacated by the security forces, and fixed November 30 this year as the deadline for troops to leave the school buildings and health institutions in the Valley.

The decision followed a high-level meeting between Mr Antony and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here.

The security situation in the state and issues related to Khundru rehabilitation, vacation of government and private accommodation by the Army and para-military forces and revision of rentals for land and orchards came up for discussions at the meeting.

On the request of Mr Azad, the security forces have been asked to vacate all school buildings and health infrastructure besides Kokernag tourist resort and the Nigeen club, currently under their use in the Kashmir valley, by November 30 this year.

Mr Antony told the Chief Minister that the Defence Ministry would support any initiative for development of infrastructure in the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

It was decided at the meeting that a Committee, comprising the Defence Secretary, the Union Home Secretary and the state Chief Secretary, would coordinate the matter.

The meeting was told as many as 72 government buildings have been vacated by the security forces in Kashmir during the past two months when Mr Antony had visited the Valley.

The government buildings vacated includes school and health institution buildings. The state government today identified some more buildings for early vacation by the security forces.

Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, state Chief Secretary C Phunsog, Financial Commissioner, Home, B R Kundal, Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda, Special Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), M L Kumawat, MHA Joint Secretary, Mitali Sen, XV and XVI Corps GoCs, Lt Gen A S Sekhon and Lt Gen Tej Sapru and senior officers of para military forces, the Intelligence Bureau, the Special Services Bureau and the civil administration were present at the meeting.


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