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Rediff.com  » News » CRPF vacates Firdous Cinema in Kashmir Valley

CRPF vacates Firdous Cinema in Kashmir Valley

December 01, 2011 15:54 IST

After occupying it for over two decades, paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force vacated the Firdous Cinema located in the old city, thereby meeting a long pending demand of the locals.

Last year, 40 security pickets were removed from the Kashmir Valley. Officials said the CRPF personnel have vacated the premises of the cinema hall in downtown Srinagar and relocated to border district of Kupwara in north Kashmir.

Firdous Cinema, one of the popular movie halls in the summer capital, was occupied by CRPF in early 1990s after eruption of militancy which left the movie halls defunct.

Militants had carried out dozens of attacks, including a suicide attack, on the cinema hall which was turned into a security camp in November 2005. Two ultras and three CRPF personnel were killed in one of the attacks.

The premises was also under occupation of the Border Security Force which replaced CRPF to fight militancy in 1993 before they again handed it over to CRPF in 2003.

Following last year's summer unrest, the government ordered removal of 40 bunkers from different parts of the city to reduce the footprints of security forces - a recommendation of the all-party delegation that visited the Valley in September last year.

Local residents of Hawal and adjoining areas have expressed satisfaction over the vacation of the complex by security forces saying the presence of bunker was hindering free movement of traffic and often resulted in snarls.

They said presence of the camp acted as an instigator during protests as the youth would target it by pelting stones.
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