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By Staff

Srinagar, May 1 (UNI) A spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir government has denied the reports that the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, on behalf of the Defence Ministry, had offered to purchase orchard land under the use of army in the State.

Reacting to a news report, the spokesperson said the Chief Minister's statement had been twisted to arrive at a misleading conclusion.

The spokesman said that the Chief Minister, in his address at Kathua on April 27, was specifically referring to the land under defence ditches and bunds erected in 1971 in Kathua and Jammu districts.

He had said in case no farmer was satisfied with the manifold increase in rent of this land, the Defence Ministry was ready to purchase this land at current market rates which was under the use of the army for defence purposes.

The choice entirely rested with the owners of the land, he added.

The spokesman said the reference was specific to the land on the border in the two districts and not to the orchards in the State as wrongly mentioned in the news report.

He referred to the official release of April 27 about the Chief Minister's address and said it did not leave any room for speculation as described in the news report.

He clarified that there were no orchards on the border near the zero line and the suggestion in the news report could either be due to the lack of knowledge on the part of the reporter or a deliberate attempt to mislead public opinion.

He said there was no question of any pressure on the owners of this land to sell it.

The spokesman regretted publication of reports lately by a small section of the media to generate unnecessary controversy and ill will against the government.


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