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Home > News > PTI

Army vacates hospitals, schools in Kashmir

November 22, 2007 16:42 IST

The army on Thursday said it had vacated all hospitals and schools in Kashmir valley, ahead of the November 30 deadline set by the Defence Ministry for it.

All hospitals and schools used by the army have been vacated, except a school at Mirgund in Budgam district, General Officer Commanding, Srinagar-based 15th Corps Lt Gen A S Sekhon told media persons on the sidelines of a function in Awantipora district.

The school campus in Budgam district is being used by army as a helipad as the building was not in service. This has not affected the education of the students as a new building for the school has been constructed nearby, he said.

The Defence Ministry had set November 30 as the deadline for vacating all hospitals and schools by the army as part of the relocation of the security forces in Kashmir valley.

Sekhon said situation in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] was fast improving and there was no visible impact of the political developments in Pakistan in the state.

"I do not see any impact of imposition of emergency in Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. The infiltration bids from across the border were normal this year and the graph of violence, including grenade throwing, IED attacks and civilian killings, has come down to a large extent," he said.

During the last three months, 140 militants have been eliminated by the security forces, including 95 on the Line of Control, while trying to sneak into the valley. The army commander said operations against militants will continue.

Sekhon said the recent encounters at Sopore, Pattan and Tangmarg in North Kashmir were normal incidents of violence and cannot be linked with the imposition of emergency in Pakistan.

"There is no direct link to these incidents with the imposition of emergency in Pakistan. These encounters were the result of the usual anti-insurgency operations," he said.

Giving credit to all security agencies, including the state police, for the success in operations against militants, Sekhon said: "Our intelligence gathering has upgraded to a great extent and cooperation between inter-agencies has increased."

However, he said, the successes were achieved at a cost as army lost one officer and several jawans in these encounters. Regarding casualties suffered by security forces in the encounters, Sekhon said security forces exercise restraint during the operations to avoid civilian casualties and loss to their property.

Answering another question on the level of infiltration from across the border, he said infiltration was under control this year. There were increased infiltration bids in April but through troop deployment, fencing and use of sophisticated gadgets on the LoC, army prevented militants sneaking into this side.

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