SRINAGAR: While Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather on Tuesday said that Tosmaidan lease will not be extended, the Indian army and the civil administration stand uninformed about any such decision made by the state government.
Army’s Srinagar-based spokesman Lt Col N N Joshi told Kashmir Reader that the state government hasn’t conveyed any decision about cancellation or extension of lease to the army.
“Nothing has been communicated to us so far. If the Finance Minister has made a statement, may be they will convey their decision to us in the coming days; these things take time. But as of now, we do not know what the government has decided,” Joshi said, adding that the army is waiting for the decision of the committee formed by government.
On the other hand, both the divisional administration Kashmir and district administration Budgam expressed ignorance about government decision about not extending the lease.
“I don’t know what his (Rather’s) source of information is, but I haven’t received any order from the government about either cancellation or extension of the lease,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Shailendra Kumar told Kashmir Reader.
The Deputy Commissioner Budgam Khursheed Shah also denied having any information about the government decision.
“I have no information about it,” he said when contacted by Kashmir Reader.
Authorities deny permission to TBF, civil society rally
The administration has denied permission to Tosmaidan Bachao Front (TBF) and the civil society to hold a protest rally at Municipal Park here on Wednesday.
Chairman TBF Dr Sheikh Ghulam Rasool told Kashmir Reader that the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar refused permission saying “it is election time.”
“We were informed by the Sub-District Police Officer (SDPO) concerned about seeking permission from the DC to hold the rally. But when we approached the DC, he said ‘we cannot give you permission because it is election time. Let us get done with elections first, these things (rally over Tosmaidan) can be done later’,” Rasool said.
TBF had called for the rally as part of ongoing campaign against extending Tosmaidan lease to the Indian army. The rally was scheduled to be joined by civil society groups, business fraternity, tourism players, and few NGOs in the protest programme.
However, TBF and its supporters have decided to stage the rally at Press Enclave here.
“We will gather at the Press Enclave and protest there,” Rasool said.