Some People Want To Set Kashmir Afire, CM Reacts To Sainik Colony Issue; Attacks Media



CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti
CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti

Part of the question hour was devoured by verbal squabbling between the treasury and opposition benches with Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti exchanging arguments with her predecessor. Ms Mufti said some elements in Kashmir are trying to “set Kashmir afire” and “sections of media are part of it”.

Though the question hour was already disrupted by opposition lawmakers on various issues including arrest of Yasin Malik and the non-availability of food grains with the CAPD, the tensions increased after Engineer Rasheed came into the Well with a newspaper seeking explanation for a news item that suggested that Sainik Colony was being set up in the airport belt.

This angered Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti. She responded suo moto accusing her predecessor Omar Abdullah of setting Kashmir on fire with his May 7 Tweet. She explained that army is not constructing any Sainik Colony. “It was constructed by state government in 1975 after Sheikh Abdullah inaugurated the first one,” she said. “Are not you aware that the army is constructing its own flats as they have been doing in Badami Bagh?” She said the constructions are not linked to the Sainik Colony as is being claimed.

Ms Mufti said that the process of creating a Sainik Colony was in process for last many years and Omar Abdullah was part of three meetings personally. She said there were efforts to identify the land but land is nowhere around. She said the colony was proposed for the state subjects but the land is nowhere around.

Chief Minister attacked the newspaper that had carried the news item. “They want to put Kashmir on fire,” she said. “Why do not they investigate first and then report?”

Ms Mufti said that there is a “race between 2-3 newspapers” to get into the assembly proceedings. “For your newspapers, you cannot hand people and set Kashmir afire,” she said. “My government is “fully supportive” of the media but we will act if unsubstantiated things are printed to disrupt peace.” She said her government has already created a “special” fund for the welfare of the journalists.

Chief Minister clarified again that no Sainik Colony is being set up anywhere. There is no land around, she said.

“I am not here for luxuries, I am here to work,” Ms Mufti said, “I will not permit anybody to play with Kashmir and disrupt peace.” She asked media to investigate everything that comes to them and report.

“Take one step and if you need me, I will be by your side; my team will be with you,” Omar Abdullah during discussion on Governor's speech on May 27, 2016. (KL Images: Bilal Bahadur)
“Take one step and if you need me, I will be by your side; my team will be with you,” Omar Abdullah during discussion on Governor’s speech on May 27, 2016. (KL Images: Bilal Bahadur)

Reacting to Ms Mufti’s outbursts, Omar Abdullah clarified that he had Tweeted the government order in which government had initiated the process of identifying land in the Old airport area. “I had asked if the land can be utilized for non-state subjects and once you clarified we left the issue,” Omar said.

Insisting that Kashmir will really be afire if “we behave the way you behaved in my era”. He said PDP’s role in last years explains “how they worked against the government within and outside the house”. “Unlike you, we are not making our speeches and leaving the house,” Omar said, “Like you, we are here for the people of the state and we will do everything possible for the welfare of the people.”

Omar taunted his successor saying that “his small tweets are disturbing her mood”. “I am using Twitter for the welfare of the people and will continue to do so. You want that I should close my account and that would give you peace but I am not doing it,” Omar said, “To my simple Tweets you jump in reaction.” He said he is not going to apologize for his Tweets because “they are in the public interest.”

“I left the Sainik Colony issue once you responded and explained things,” Omar said, “Now you are dragging me into the controversy simply because some lawmaker in the assembly has raised it.”

Prior to the pandemonium on this issue, the treasury benches were facing attacks from various opposition lawmakers over the detention of Yasin Malik. Tarigami said that he has been arrested in a 1987 case. “You area approaching incidents from an administrative point of view,” Tarigami said, “You need to approach them politically.” The Communist lawmaker said that this situation can impact peace and “impact it seriously”. Tarigami was reacting to BJP lawmakers informing Malik was arrested for assaulting a police officer.


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