Sainik Colony Row: ‘Certain Quarters Hell Bent To Set Kashmir Afire Again’

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Srinagar: Reiterating that no Sainik Colony is coming up in any part of Kashmir, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti Monday said the recurrent reports springing up in this regard seem to be the part of a ‘desperate’ and ‘sustained campaign’ by certain quarters to destabilize the situation and put Kashmir on fire again.
“It is highly unfortunate that at a time when the tourism activity has started picking up in Kashmir and the slumped economy is slowly rejuvenating, a sustained campaign has been launched by certain quarters to dish out concocted and inflammatory reports to provoke the situation,” the Chief Minister said while responding to the issue of Sainik Colony raised by an Independent legislator in the Legislative Assembly this morning.
Joined by National Conference and Congress legislators, the opposition legislators created ruckus in the Assembly over media reports about setting up of a Sainik colony in Srinagar.
“I want to make it clear that the Army is not constructing any Sainik Colony in Kashmir. They have and may be constructing accommodation at the land already under their use,” she said and added that these constructions are in no way linked to the Sainik Colony as is being projected by certain quarters.
“Constructions have been going on for decades in the areas which have been allotted to the Army and other security forces for their staff and the families and by playing up the pictures of some residential accommodation in the newspapers, which already exist in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir, an attempt is being made to provoke the situation and create trouble, which won’t be allowed,” she said.
Pointing out that the former Chief Minister had led this misinformation campaign by spreading canards on twitter about purported settling of non-state subjects in the Sainik Colonies, she said as the former CM and head of the opposition, he knows that there is no truth in the establishment of Sainik Colonies as is being projected. “He (the former CM) had himself attended four meetings of the Rajya Sainik Board in which the decisions to locate land for Sainik Colonies for state subject retired soldiers were reiterated. “However, when the matter came up during our Government, it was communicated to the concerned quarters that there is no land available for the purpose,” she maintained.
Mehbooba said the first Sainik Colonies were established in the State by the then Chief Minister, Late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in Jammu and the Army had no role in their construction.
She urged the opposition to play a constructive role in the interest of peace and stability instead of trying to trigger trouble in the State by politicizing non-existent issues.
The Chief Minister also urged the media to play a responsible and responsive role by verifying the veracity of the reports before publishing the same. “Please investigate whatever comes to you especially on such sensitive issues before putting the same in the public domain,” she urged the media and said if there is even an iota of truth in any such move, go ahead and publish it, “but for God sake, please don’t give credence to hearsay.”
The Chief Minister said the Government will not allow anybody to put Kashmir on fire and bring miseries to the people. “I am not here for luxuries, I am here to work and bring relief to the people, who have suffered immensely because of turmoil, misgovernance, corruption and nepotism,” she said. “I will not permit anybody to play with the lives of the people and disrupt peace and would continue to work for the welfare of the people for as long as I am here.” 

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