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May 24, 1999
More govt offices moved out of Kargil
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
As the Pakistani shelling continued, the Jammu and Kashmir government today shifted more government offices out of Kargil.
The Kargil district headquarters was moved to Chukthan on Saturday.
A senior official in Srinagar has told Rediff On The NeT that the government offices will now be located either at Sanku or Chuthuk, near Kargil.
The 9000-odd families, who fled Kargil, Drass and other areas recently, are presently camping at Sanku.
Officials admitted that the state government might be forced to implement its earlier plan of shifting the whole town of Kargil to Sanku.
Last year, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had announced the relocation plan.
"All government offices, educational institutions and banks have been closed for the past two weeks. We had no option but to order the shifting of the district headquarters to Chukthan. People need our support," said an official.
A majority of the government employees have fled Kargil, and only a skeleton staff was available for running the district hospital, he said.
Army chief, General V P Malik, who airdashed to Srinagar yesterday, was briefed by Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Krishan Pal about the latest Kargil situation.
The army chief, who returned to New Delhi in the evening, is believed to have issued instructions to the army commanders on tackling the situation.
Scores of army vehicles carrying troops and rations have left Srinagar for the Drass and Kargil sectors.
Police sources said that heavy India-Pakistan artillery exchanges continued last night. However, there were no casualties.
The Indian army has been effectively responding to the shelling from across the border, they said.
A defence source said that the operation to flush out the 400-odd Pakistani infiltrators in these sectors was continuing. The army has been using artillery power to evict the intruders from their hideouts in the upper reaches.
Meanwhile, officials in Srinagar admitted that Kargil had been facing acute shortage of essentials. The district administration yesterday rushed 10 trucks to Srinagar to fetch foodgrains and other essentials. The trucks will leave Srinagar tomorrow with supplies for the local residents.
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