Srinagar: Amid a controversy over the Sainik Colony issue, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said no land has been allotted by the government for such a purpose.
The demand for establishing a Sainik Colony is from state subjects and not the ex-servicemen from outside the state, she told reporters on the occasion of re-opening of the Civil Secretariat – the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government – in Srinagar.
“No land has been allotted for establishing Sainik Colony. The demand (for Sainik Colony) is not from ex-servicemen from outside the state, but from the state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“However, the government, till date, has not allotted any land for it,” Ms Mufti said.
Reacting to former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s charge that official documents “prove it beyond any reasonable doubt” that the process of identification of land for such colony was initiated twice in 2015 and 2016 by successive PDP-BJP coalition government’s led by Mufti Sayeed and Ms Mufti, she said no power can go against the special status of the state.
“Omar was chief minister of the state. He knows that no power – be it the chief minister of the state or the Prime Minister – cannot go against the special status of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister also said she hoped that Mr Abdullah has proof and has not committed a “mistake” by levelling “false accusations”.
“I hope that Omar, because he is not a common man but has been a chief minister, has not repeated his mistake as he has referred to some papers.” Meanwhile, Mr Abdullah dared Ms Mufti to file a case against him.
Mr Abdullah said if the chief minister had “guts” and believed that the image, uploaded by him on Twitter of an order allegedly by State’s Home Department, was fake, she should immediately file a case against him.
“If you have the guts & truly believe this image is fake file a case against me in the nearest police station TODAY!!” he said.
Mr Abdullah said if the chief minister does not file the case, then people of the state would know who is “lying”. “If you (Mehbooba) haven’t filed a case against me in the next 24 hours the people will know who is lying in this matter @mehbooba_mufti. Truth prevails,” he wrote.
The JKPCC President Ghulam Ahmad Mir led a protest of the Congress party activists against the PDP-BJP coalition here on the first day of re-opening of the civil secretariat and said the party would not accept the proposal of establishing ‘Sainik Colony’.
“Congress has made it clear that we would not accept any such proposal from the government that encroaches or dilutes the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370,” Mr Mir told reporters.
Hundreds of party activists assembled at Congress headquarters in Srinagar and started marching towards civil secretariat. However, they were stopped by police near Budshah Chowk.
Mr Mir said the protest was to remind chief minister of her election promises when she sought votes from the people in Kashmir to keep the BJP away.
“Mehbooba is bringing the RSS, VHP and BJP to Kashmir herself and imposing them on the same voters from whom she had sought votes to keep BJP and RSS away from Kashmir,” Mr Mir said.
He also said the government has “failed” to compensate the flood victims and deprived people of ration by implementing National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the state.
Speaking to reporters, the chief minister said her father Sayeed had made a historical and difficult decision to ally with the BJP and that decision was for safeguarding the identity of the state and not to cause any damage to it.
“I want to say that my father made a historical decision, a difficult decision, and it was not for damaging our identity but for safeguarding the identity of Jammu and Kashmir. We – be it PDP or BJP – we all swear in the name of the constitution of the country and the state when we enter the assembly.
“So, till we – the mainstream parties – are there and swear on the Constitution, people like Omar should not fall prey to rumours,” she said.
Ms Mufti said she does not understand as to why such issues are raked only when the summer arrives and a large number of tourists start visiting the state.