Jammu & Kashmir

No one knows anything: Uncertainty over reported army letter as officials deny giving clear answers regarding land purchase

Srinagar: After the Indian Army has reportedly written to a Government Department seeking information about land that the army wants to purchase, concerned officials say they have no knowledge of the letter, or have been avoiding giving clear answers to journalistic queries regarding the letter.

The letter titled ‘Purchase of Land by Indian Army’ mentions that troops of a particular unit are stationed on the government land at Kareri High ground near Tapperwari village, and that the army is interested in purchasing this state land.

“It is requested to inform your wish to sell the land to the Indian Army,” the letter reads.

The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla, Dr. GN Itoo said that he had no knowledge of the existence of such a letter.

Talking to Free Press Kashmir, he said, “The DC office did not notice any such letter. However, we will look into it. We can confirm it only after checking the records.”

“We don’t know anything about this. We don’t know who has written the letter and to whom. There is a procedure to acquire land and that has to be followed. Nothing of this sort has come to our notice yet,” he said.

Earlier, Itoo had said that the admin is busy fighting COVID-19 for last three months. “There can’t be any time diction from the army to me, still I will look into it,” he had said.

In the reported letter the army had requested the government to reply by May 30 for the information regarding 129 kanals of land.

However, even the army did not answer the journalistic query clearly.

Speaking to Free Press Kashmir, Rajesh Kalia, Defence PRO said, “DC baramulla has said he is busy with covid and will look into it. They had to respond by 30th as per that letter. So, today it should happen. Talk to them and I assure you we will answer all the queries.”

Tehsildar concerned was unavailable for his comments on the issue.

Repeated calls by Free Press Kashmir to the other officers went unanswered.

However, Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM), Pattan, Syed Naseer Ahmad, acknowledging the authenticity of the letter had told Kashmir Monitor‘s Journalist Firdous Hassan it is a letter of requisition.

“I don’t have any fresh information about the letter. According to the last communication, it is a letter of requisition,” he was quoted as saying.

Recently, the government in new Domicile rules of has declared that outsiders who have lived in Jammu and Kashmir for 15 years will be able to get domicile status, which allows them to purchase land in Kashmir.


Marouf Gazi is a Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) 2019 fellow and a senior staffer at Free Press Kashmir.


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