Facts expose govt’s cover-up on Sainik Colony: NC

Srinagar: National Conference on Sunday asked Cabinet Minister and State Government Spokesperson Naeem Akhtar to substantiate his statement denying the Government’s initiation of the process of allocating land to the Sainik Colony in Srinagar, failing which he should resign from the State Cabinet for deliberately disseminating lies on such a sensitive matter.

National Conference Spokesperson Junaid Mattu said there was unambiguous proof that successive PDP-BJP Governments headed by Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti were involved in the process of allocating hundreds of kanals of land for the proposed Sainik Colony in Srinagar.

“Official Documents prove it beyond any reasonable doubt that the official process of identification of land for ‘Sainik Colony’ in Srinagar, from the initial allocation of 173 kanals to the subsequent 350 kanals, was initiated twice in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took oath of office on the 1st of March.

The very next month, the Divisional Commissioner in a letter on the 10th of April agreed in principal to provide 173 kanals of land for the proposed ‘Sainik Colony’ in Srinagar and Budgam Districts. This is not a matter of speculation or hypothesis and is a matter of official record”, the NC Spokesperson said in a statement issued from Party Headquarters on Sunday.
“Then more recently after Mehbooba Mufti took over as the Chief Minister of the State with the charge of the Home Department on the April 4, 2016, the Home Secretary in an official letter dated the April 11 sought the status of the allocation of land for the proposed Sainik Colony from the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and the concerned District Development Commissioners. This too, is a matter of official record”, the NC Spokesperson added.

The NC Spokesperson said both these official communications prove that Chief Ministers Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti were actively and directly involved not only as Heads of Government but also as successive Home Ministers of the State in the formal process of land allocation for ‘Sainik Colony’ in Srinagar. “In spite of these proofs and facts, the State Government Spokesperson and Cabinet Minister Naeem Akhtar has come out to term substantiated media reports as ‘highly motivated and parochial’and has denied the fact that two successive State Governments headed by PDP have been regularly seeking the status of land allocation for the ‘Sainik Colony’. Naeem Akhtar has now formally and officially lied as the Spokesperson of the State Government and he should either explain on whose instructions the Administration had bypassed the Chief Minister with the concerned officers working on their own accord, failing which he should resign from the State Cabinet without any delay”, the NC Spokesperson said.
“Mr. Naeem Akhtar terming substantiated media reports as ‘parochial’ while he himself lies on record is asinine and unbecoming of a Cabinet Minister to say the least. Is the State Government trying to cover up PDP’s tacit understanding with its alliance partner on this sensitive issue or is this a compromise PDP had agreed to make to pave way for Mufti Sahab and then Mehbooba Mufti to occupy the Chief Minister’s chair? Rather than addressing these genuine concerns, Mr. Naeem Akhtar wants to wriggle his way out of a corner by blackmailing the people of the State about the tourism season – subliminally warning them of economic persecution if they don’t fall in line”, the NC Spokesperson added in the statement.
The NC Spokesperson said the party would wait for the State Government to either debunk the proofs and facts of this case – as have been put out in the public domain – or the resignation of the Government Spokesperson for lying in his official capacity. “These are the only two choices the State Government has and the ball lies in their court. We hope they respond with substance and proof rather than resorting to vague rhetoric and diversions”, the NC Spokesperson further added.