May 2016 News

Kashmir: NC Rebuts Govt's Claim On Sainik Colony, Cites Official Records

8 May 2016

Srinagar: Opposition NC Sunday rebutted Jammu and Kashmir government's assertion that no land has been allotted for Sainik colony in the state, claiming there is 'unambiguous proof' in official records and wondered if it was an effort to cover up PDP's tacit understanding with its partner BJP on the sensitive issue. 'There is unambiguous proof that successive PDP-BJP governments headed by Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and (now) Mehbooba Mufti were involved in the process of allocating hundreds of kanals of land for the proposed Sainik Colony in Srinagar,' National Conference spokesperson Junaid Mattu said. He said official documents 'prove it beyond any reasonable doubt' that the process of identification of land for such colony, from the initial allocation of 173 kanals (about nine hectares) to the subsequent 350 kanals (about 18 hectares), was initiated twice in 2015 and 2016. 'Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took oath of office on March 1 in 2015. The very next month, the Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) in a letter on April 10 agreed in principle to provide 173 kanals of land for the proposed 'Sainik Colony' in Srinagar and Budgam districts. This is not a matter of speculation or hypothesis, it is a matter of official record,' the NC Spokesperson said. The PDP-BJP government Saturday asserted that it has not allotted any land for establishing Sainik colony housing project for ex-servicemen in the Valley and slammed such claims saying they were 'highly motivated' and 'aimed at disturbing peace' The NC spokesperson claimed that after Mehbooba took over as the Chief Minister with the charge of Home department on April 4 this year, the Home Secretary, in an official letter dated April 11, sought the status of the allocation of land for the proposed colony from the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and the District Development Commissioners concerned. 'This too, is a matter of official record,' he said. Mattu alleged that both these official communications prove that Sayeed and Mehbooba were 'actively and directly involved' not only as the heads of government but also as successive Home Ministers of the state, in the formal process of land allocation for the Sainik Colony. 'In spite of these proofs and facts, the state government spokesperson and cabinet minister Naeem Akhtar has come out to term substantiated media reports as 'highly-motivated and parochial' and has denied the fact that two successive state governments headed by PDP have been regularly seeking the status of land allocation for the Sainik Colony,' Mattu claimed. He alleged Akhtar has formally and officially 'lied' as the spokesperson of the state government and he should explain that 'on whose instructions the administration had bypassed the Chief Minister with the officers concerned working on their own accord, failing which he should resign from the state cabinet without any delay'. 'Is the state government trying to cover up PDP's tacit understanding with its alliance partner (BJP) on this sensitive issue or is this a compromise PDP had agreed to pave the way for Mufti Sahab and then Mehbooba to occupy the Chief Minister's chair?' he said. Akhtar yesterday refuted the reports on Sainik colony, terming them 'highly motivated and parochial and are aimed at disturbing peace' in the state at a time when tourism and business activities have just started picking up. Mattu said NC would wait for the state government to either debunk the proofs and facts of this case or for the resignation of the government spokesperson for 'lying' in his official capacity. 'These are the only two choices the state government has and the ball lies in their court. We hope they respond with substance and proof rather than resorting to vague rhetoric and diversions,' the NC spokesperson said.