SRINAGAR: Though a week has passed since the Indian defence ministry’s deadline on vacating troops from government buildings, including schools and hospitals, ended, many government sites in several parts of the valley continue to be under the occupation of the forces. According to a survey, 25 government buildings, including primary schools and hospitals, are still under occupation of the forces in Bijbehara.
This despite that impression given by the army that it has vacated all government buildings where it had been stationed for years together. The CRPF, on its part, gives the plea that the state government has not given any orders in this direction so far. According to sources, the 36 and 49 RR is deployed in Bijbehara for anti-militancy operations along with the 61 and 154 CRPF, and the forces occupy buildings of the agriculture and the animal husbandry department part from schools, hospitals, and panchayat ghars.
In addition, the forces have taken over the building of the tourism department in Gasi Gund and vast tracts of privately owned land. The union minister for defence, A. K Antony, had assured last month that the force would be vacated from all government buildings and given alternative accommodation. Three cinema houses in Srinagar, the Shiraz, Firdaus, and Shah Cinema, too are under the occupation of forces for the past 18 years. According to sources, troops continue to hold government buildings in Baramulla, and no action has been taken so far to vacate them.-SANA