Srinagar, January 06 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have denounced the allocation of 1034 Kanals of land to the Indian Army under ‘Strategic Areas Act’ in Gulmarg and 354 Kanals in Sonamarg for construction of camps and other structures.
The NC General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar, taking to media in Srinagar said, “Our reservations about the ‘strategic areas act’ are evidenced by this reckless land transfer. We had contended that the act will be used arbitrarily to grab civilian, tourist and other mineral resources-rich areas. The recent transfer order substantiates our detestation for the act.”
Criticizing the measure, Sagar said that the constitutional propriety demanded to halt any such decisions because such decisions are a consequence of August 05, 2019 decisions, which are constitutionally suspect and awaiting the due validation from the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India. He argued that by taking such measures, the Indian government was anticipating the verdict of the apex court.
Despite India’s Climate Pledges, Sagar said, the Modi government is diverting more forest land to the Armed Forces. He said ever since Article 370 was repealed and the Indian government took charge of IIOJK, 250 hectares of ecologically fragile land have been diverted for non-forestry purposes. “This stands in stark contrast to the pledge taken by India at the recent COP26 climate summit to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the country’s forest cover,” he added.
Putting our land and resources for grabs and sale on one pretext on another is akin to adding insult to our injuries, he said, adding that such wanton land transfers will make the tourist resorts Gulmarg and Sonmarg wear a ‘battle zone’ look.
Meanwhile, CPI-M leader, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami, in a statement issued in Srinagar said that the Indian government must review its decision to ‘declare’ 1034 kanals of land at Gulmarg and 354 kanals in Sonmarg as “strategic areas” for the use of armed forces.
Tarigami said the so-called real estate development by the Indian government can’t generate employment or create livelihood opportunities, but are only meant for giving benefits to the corporate sector.