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JEHANGIR ALI | 30 SEPTEMBER, 2015

Security Situation In JK Improved, Says CM Mufti

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed


SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Tuesday said there is "perceptible change" in the security situation and the requirement of the Army in civilian areas has "considerably reduced". 

"There is a perceptible change for good in the overall situation in J&K and the requirement of Army in civilian areas has considerably reduced," Sayeed said during Civil-Military Liaison Conference held at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre here.

The conference, attended by senior BJP leader and J&K's deputy chief minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, and top officers from the civil administration, was the coalition government's first interaction with the Army, which was represented by GoC-in-charge Northern Command, Lt Gen DS Hooda, and all Corps commanders of J&K.

Demilitarisation of civilian areas and vacation of land and buildings under the Army's possession is part of the alliance agenda between the ruling PDP-BJP coalition headed by Sayeed.

"The regularisation of land, rental charges and vacation of land and buildings in J&K under the Army's possession is important component of our alliance agenda which will be implemented in a time-bound manner," Mufti said, while lauding the efforts of Army in safeguarding borders and civilian lives.

Embroiled in controversies since it came into office, the coalition government's alliance agenda also promises to revoke AFSPA, a draconian legislation which has been a cause of much suffering and injustice for people of the state.

The Army, however, made it clear during the conference that "sensibilities" were surrounding "certain issues", to which the Chief Minister proposed to hold "regular meetings" for "finding a common ground" on "core issues".

Sayeed also told the Army to vacate the Tattoo Ground in Srinagar within three months, failing which the state government will take up the matter with the Union Defence Ministry.

"You have already taken up land at Shariefabad in lieu of Tattoo Ground. You have to vacate it within three months. Else I won't hesitate in taking up the matter with the defence minister," Sayeed said.

The chief minister also turned down the Army's request of allocating land in Bajipathri near Yusmarg, a popular tourist resort in central Kashmir, in lieu of vacation of firing range in Tosa Maidan after a massive public outpour last year.

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