Separatists criticised leasing out 145 kanals of land to CRPF

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Srinagar, Oct 15 (UNI) Several separatist and other organisations in the Kashmir valley today criticised the government decision to lease out 145 kanals of land at Pampore to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for 90 years.

In separate statements here, they said the Jammu and Kashmir Industries Limited (JKIL) has reportedly decided to give on lease 145 kanal of land to the CRPF against the premium of Rs 22 crores.

Former chairman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC), Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, strongly condemned the decision and said already lakhs of kanals of land have been occupied by the troops throughout Kashmir.

''We would fight this decision tooth and nail peacefully, he said. Acting chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League (PL), Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, expressed serious concern over the transfer of joinery mill land to the CRPF at saffron town Pampore and termed it as a deep rooted conspiracy to strengthen the ''illegal occupation'' of Kashmir.

India has already deputed more than seven lakh armed forces which comprise of a population ratio of 1:6, which is a sheer violation of human rights as stipulated in United Nations charter, he said.

Patron Mahaz-e-Azadi, Mohammad Azam Inquilabi strongly opposed the handing over of land of the joinery mill at Pampore to the paramilitary forces.

He said such moves give credibility to our doubts that the government of India has turned Kashmir into a big garrison.

It is very unfortunate and will affix fuel to the perilous situation of Kashmir because in the cantonment, the armed forces never remain parochial and affect the very social fabric, resulting in a complete social disorder, Azam said.

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the government to retract the decision.

It would have serious fall-outs, KCCI said in a statement.

It said the organisation had earlier made a proposal for setting up an integrated park comprising of manufacturing units related to weaving of carpets and shawls, chain-stitch and crewel in Kashmir.

The proposal is still pending with the government. The land can be transferred for the project, the KCCI said.

The Valley Citizens Council (VCC) has also raised voice against the decision, terming it as illegal and a conspiracy.

According to legal experts, the JKIL decision to lease out land to the CRPF is a clear violation of the states Land Transfer Act, as leasing out land to any central government department or agency necessitates approval of the state cabinet and the legislature.

The JKIL management can not take any unilateral decision to lease out land to the CRPF without the approval of the state legislature as it requires amendments in the Transfer of Property Act, a legal expert said.

UNI XC SBC VC1608

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