Amarnath Row On Mind, ‘deal’ To Lease Out Land To CRPF ‘cancelled’
16 October 2008
The Indian Express
: With the apprehension of another Amarnath-like controversy weighing on Government mind, a proposal to lease out 18.10 acres of land in Pampore, South Kashmir, to the Central Reserve Police Force may fall through. The Hurriyat Conference yesterday threatened to oppose any such move and the issue has already seen protests locally. Playing it safe, the state Government today said no such decision had been taken to lease out a mill and the land around it, located along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and in the middle of Kashmir's largest saffron fields. 'No land has been leased out to the CRPF at Pampore,' an official spokesperson said. He admitted that a request by the CRPF is lying with Jammu and Kashmir Industries Limited (JKIL), which owns the land, but said no money had been received in this regard nor any allotment letter issued. Compounding the confusion are the opposing statements by the CRPF and JKIL. While the paramilitary force insists the deal - meant 'as a financial favour' to bail out JKIL - is still on, JKIL says it cancelled the deal as the CRPF had failed to meet a deadline to deposit the premium money.