Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, has directed Kashmir Police chief to relocate the Paramilitary forces camp from HMT factory in Zainakote in summer capital.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Batamaloo Lawmaker, Sheikh Noor Muhammad, told Kashmir Life that in the recent Srinagar District Development Meet he raised the issue wherein directions were passed.
The demand to relocate the CRPF camp housed in HMT watch factory gained momentum after a youth, Gowhar Nazir Dar, was killed in forces firing on November 07 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in SK Stadium here along with former CM late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The family of Gowhar, who was pursuing engineering from SSM Engineering College, had alleged that Gowhar died of bullet fired by CRPF. However, paramilitary forces had that he died of a tire gas shell.
After protests swelled following the death of Gowhar, Batamaloo lawmaker, Sheikh Noor Mohammad, had written to J&K Home department seeking removal of the camp.
“CM directed IGP Kashmir to relocate the CRPF camp in the recent Srinagar DDB meet,” Noor Mohammad said. “The HMT factory is almost dead now and there is no need of the paramilitary forces to guard it,” he added.
However, the Home Department on Friday said there was “no sufficient accommodation available in vicinity to relocate the camp”.
“There is no proposal under consideration for shifting of CRPF camp from Zainakote HMT (Industrial Area) in Srinagar outskirts,” the government informed lower house of the assembly in a written reply.
“There is no private, government land or sufficient accommodation available in the vicinity for shifting of CRPF Bn from HMT. In view of these difficulties, as of now, there is no proposal under consideration for shifting of CRPF Camp from Zainakote HMT (Industrial Area),” home department, responded to a question by PDP MLA from Batamaloo, Noor Muhammad Sheikh. The Home Department is headed by CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti herself.
Sheikh had asked a written question about the demand of the Zainakote residents for removal of the CRPF camp.
“44th Bn 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. 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,” the government said.
The reply said that under the ‘Alternate Accommodation Programme’ of Government of India (GoI), Ministry of Home Affairs, the police department have constructed or are constructing accommodation for re-location of Security Force Personnel, hitherto housed in government or private establishment.
“However, non-availability of land is an impediment in the completion of the project,” it said.
When asked about response of the Home Department, Noor Muhammad told Kashmir Life, “I have put a calling attention notice on May 28, 2016 and the issue will be raised in the house.” “It is an important issue and camp needs to be relocated.”