Delhi turns entire IoK into a military establishment

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By SHRI RAM SHAW

NEW DELHI : Following strong opposition from political parties in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, PM Narendra Modi-led Union Territory government claimed that that its decision on regulating construction in Strategic Areas for Armed Forces for their operational requirements, has nothing to do with the transfer of any land to the Armed Forces.

It may be recalled that authorities in Delhi had recently approved a special dispensation for regulating construction in ‘‘Strategic Areas’’, required by the armed forces for their direct operational and training purposes. Several political parties of the valley – National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and People’s Conference have opposed the amendments, describing the move as “disastrous” and aimed at “changing the demography” of J&K.

On Friday, the Administrative Council (AC), which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu, gave its nod to the proposal to amend the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 and the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, 1970 to provide for a special dispensation to carry out construction activities in the ‘‘Strategic Areas’’.

‘‘The decision simply means that in the so-called notified ‘Strategic Areas’ within the existing land of the armed forces, the responsibility to ensure that construction activities are undertaken in accordance with the developmental control regulations of the Master Plan and that all environmental safeguards are observed has been delegated to the armed forces themselves,’’ an official spokesperson said.

Criticizing the government’s move, National Conference (NC) spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar claimed that these amendments will undermine the civil authority and turn the entire region into a military establishment. The strategic importance of Jammu and Kashmir is not confined to certain areas, as such the entire region is strategically important. The proposed amendment will add to the pool of land under the possession of the Army by cutting on the remaining arable and fertile land tracts available for agriculture activity. Ends