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Vacating Kashmir schools, hospitals, not for paramilitary

Shahnawaz Khan

Srinagar, November 03, 2007:

Indian Defence minister’s orders to vacate all school and hospitals buildings occupied by Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir do not apply to paramilitary troops, officials said here Saturday.

There are an estimated 7.5 lakh Indian troops, including the paramilitary forces such as Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force fighting insurgency in Indian administered Kashmir.

Defence Minister A K Antony said last month that troops will be vacating school and hospital buildings in the region by November 30.

The decision comes amid demands for troop withdrawal and relocation from ruling ally Peoples Democratic Party.

The party has also demanded vacation of troops from private properties such as orchards and houses.

A CRPF spokesman told Kashmir Newz that the orders of defence minister do no apply to them.

“We don’t come under the defence ministry’s directions. We are provided accommodation by the state (government) and so far we have no directions from them,” CRPF spokesman He said the CRPF occupies only a few schools, which have been provided by the State. A company of the paramilitary force is also housed in the University of Kashmir campus.

“It is all up to the state (government). So far we have no directions from them. May be they are doing their homework,” Tripathi said.

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