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Nirmal Singh accuses Army of harassing people

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Srinagar, May 12: Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Speaker and senior BJP leader Dr. Nirmal Singh has accused Army of “harassing” people after the force raised objections over the construction of his house next to an ammunition depot in Nagrota.

According to the report published in ‘The Indian Express’, Army had written a letter to Singh terming construction of house on 2,000-sq-m plot estimated 12 acres bought in 2014 as “illegal” and “has implications on the security of a major ammunition storage facility as well as the safety of all personnel living in close vicinity of the ammunition depot”.

However, Singh as per report has termed Army’s objections over his construction of house near ammunition depot as “politically motivated”.

“I have no legal binding that I cannot do the construction. What the Army is claiming, it is their view and not binding on me. A village called Ban is adjacent to it. During militancy, the Army built a wall around it. They are saying that you can’t construct anything 1000 m from the outer wall of the depot. My house is 530 m. The moment I started construction, there was opposition. It is politically motivated,” the report quoted Singh as having said.

“They (army) don’t let people construct even a toilet. People are harassed. You should speak to people there. Because it is my house, it is politically motivated. They started objecting. Why don’t they get a stay, they can’t do it,” the report quoted Singh as having said.

“This is my property. I have a right to use this property the way I want to use it. It is my fundamental right and you (Army) can’t encroach. They are giving reference of Raksha Mantri, I am telling them you should have acquired it. I have got the plan of the house passed and they are objecting,” the report quoted Singh as further having said.

“Revenue authorities are asking (questions to Army), people are crying. That isn’t being heard (by the Army) because this is politically motivated,” report quoted Singh as having said.

The land in question was bought by Himgiri Infrastructure Development Pvt Limited, a company incorporated in 2000, whose shareholders include Kavinder Gupta and BJP MP for Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency Jugal Kishore, report said.

“The land is owned by Himgiri Infrastructure Private Limited. It is also a power company. My wife (Mamta Singh) is a director of this company. This piece of land where I am constructing the house is in her name,” report quoted Singh as having said.

Singh as per report also added: “Our (current) Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta, too, has land. He was a director of the (Himgiri) company. When he became Speaker, he left. But he is a shareholder currently. Jugal ji (MP Jugal Kishore) is also in Himgiri. Surinder Mahajan is our chairman.”

“We were nine friends who had thought to start work. We got a 3 MW project in Himachal. It is 60 km from Chamba city. I became Deputy CM and Power Minister in 2015. There is no conflict of interest,” the report quoted Singh as having said.

The report quoted Singh as saying that they had taken the land (adjacent to the Army’s ammunition depot in Nagrota) in 2014,” where IIT and an IIM are coming up in the same area but they are more than 1000 m away.

“There shouldn’t have been an ammunition depot at this place,” the report quoted Singh as having said.

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