Jammu and Kashmir Government has said that there is no proposal under consideration for shifting of CRPF Camp from Zainakote HMT Industrial Area here.
This was stated by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who holds also the Home Department to a written reply in Legislative Assembly on Friday.
MLA Batamaloo Noor Muhammad Sheikh had asked the Government whether it has any plan to remove the CRPF Camp at Zainakote HMT as per the demand of the locals.
The Government stated that under the Alternate Accommodation Programme of the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, the police department has constructed rather constructing accommodation for re-location of Security Force personnel, hitherto housed in government/private establishments. However, non-availability of land is an impediment in the completion of the project.
The government further stated that 44th Battalion headquarters of CRPF is housed in Zainakote HMT (Industrial Area), Srinagar for protection of this vital installation, besides performing ROP/other day to day law and order duties. There is no private/government land or sufficient accommodation available in the vicinity of shifting of CRPF Camp from HMT.
In the event of shifting of this Battalion Headquarters, sufficient manpower would be required for protection of the said Industrial Unit, for which accommodation at Zainakote would be required.
In view of these difficulties, as of now, there is no proposal under consideration for shifting of CRPF Camp from Zainakote HMT Industrial Area.
Pertinently, after the killing of 22-year-old local youth, Gowhar Nazir, by personnel of this camp on November 7 last year, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Srinagar to address a rally, the residents of the area are seeking removal of CRPF from the factory.
There are 15 buildings in the unit, with premises looking like a mini township. The factory was once bustling with activities and providing job to more than 1000 employees.
The HMT watch factory was established on sprawling 527 kanals land in 1971. After the outbreak of militancy in 1990 and migration of outside workforce, the unit became defunct. A major portion of the factory land is under the occupation of CRPF since 2010. After the 2010 mass agitation in Kashmir, CRPFs 44th battalion occupied the factory premises and its major chunk of land without seeking any consent from the management.
Except the HMT Plant, everything including flats and land of the factory is under use of CRPF. Recently, the state government had claimed that the removal of CRPF has been taken up with the Government of India.
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