Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir has served notices on the Army, the Border Security Force (BSF) and even the Jammu and Kashmir Police, asking each to explain reasons as to why they had committed ecological vandalism, with the massive defacement of a hill range overlooking the capital city.
Authoritative sources revealed to The Hindu that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had pulled up senior officials and bureaucrats over turning a blind eye to the large-scale defacement of a barren hill range from Sonwar to Zewan by the police and security forces.
The boldly laid slogan “Ajeet hain, abheet hain [we are victorious, we are invincible],” directly facing a civilian population of two million, sources said, was termed “most disgusting” by the Chief Minister.
“They need to address it to the Chinese Army, not their own people,” the Chief Minister is said to have said at an official meeting. He was not available by telephone for confirmation. Bureaucratic sources, however, confirmed that Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner Shailendar Kumar had served the notices separately to the Army, the BSF and the Police on the Chief Minister’s direction.
Politicians as well as officials were reportedly in unison that the slogans imposed with painted stones over furlongs of the lofty hills were not only an act of “ecological vandalism,” and banned by the Supreme Court of India, but also suggestive of “conquering the country’s own citizens.”
Sources said that a notice, directly served on Headquarters, 15 Corps, asked the Army to immediately restore virginity to the hill. Identical directions under different laws have been reportedly communicated to the BSF and J&K Police.
Against encroachment of government land
A senior police officer is said to have resisted dismantling of a building housing the Shergarhi police station and threatened the government through a senior bureaucrat. The officer had reportedly said that “machine guns would roar” if authorities proceeded with the demolition.
The Chief Minister, however, put his foot down and got the station demolished by the Economic and Reconstruction Authority (ERA) within a day.
He alleged that different agencies and bureaucrats had been creating roadblocks in the construction of an ambitious flyover between Jehangir Chowk and Rambagh.
All Deputy Commissioners have been directed to take inventories of government lands occupied or encroached upon by the police.