Hurriyat Opposes Shelters for Homeless, Sees it as "Ploy" to Change JK Demography
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir’s government's plan to build shelters for homeless people has run into rough weather with the Hurriyat calling it an "attempt to change the demography" of the Muslim majority state.
"With the help of PDP-BJP government, Indian think-tanks are trying to convert the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir into a Hindu majority. If the plan is not shelved, it will have serious consequences," Ayaz Akbar, the spokesman of Syed Ali Geelani-led Hurriyat, said.
Last week, the state government cleared decks for starting work on two shelters for homeless in Jammu and Kupwara districts of the state in the first phase under the government of India’s National Urban Livelihoods Mission. The project is likely to be extended to Anantnag, Reasi, Kathua, Samba and Budgam districts as well.
According to officials, the two shelters will provide shelter to people "living either on the roadside or under flyovers.” “The occupants of the shelters need not be state subjects necessarily and they will be provided accommodation free of cost and food at subsidised rates as per the guidelines of scheme,” an official communication reads.
However, the executive council of Hurriyat which met on Monday took note of the issue, saying it was done to change the Muslim-majority status of the state. "It is a deep rooted ploy to change the Muslim majority character of the state".
"The real motive behind such things as in the recent past, efforts was made to settle Kashmiri Pandits in satellite colonies or rehabilitate retired army personnel and some other day efforts were made to settle West Pakistan refugees, these all are evil designs and in Kashmir valley there is nothing like issue of homelessness," a statement issued after the meeting, reads.
The state government constituted a six-member selection committee last week for the finalisation of this project with secretary to the Housing & Urban Development Department as its chairman. According to officials, an estimated 6,00,000 non-locals visit the state every year, most of whom them work in real estate and agriculture sectors.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat Conference also alleged that the J&K Police is forcing 80 students of Srinagar to present themselves at Parimpora police station. “The majority of them are under the age of 18 years and they have been asked to make their presence at police stations regularly,” the statement said.
The Hurriyat also demanded removal of a CRPF camp at HMT which has “proved life threatening for common masses and reiterated their demand to book Dy commanding officer who belongs to the same CRPF camp for murdering Gowhar Ahmed”.
Gowhar was shot dead in retaliatory action against protesters on the day the Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Kashmir Valley last year to announce Rs 80,000 crore financial package.