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CRPF Occupies 737 Premises in J&K, Including Kashmiri Pandit Homes & Cinema Halls, Shows Data

According to sources, CRPF has occupied these premises for professional duties as there is shortage of accommodation in Jammu and Kashmir. (Representative image/Reuters)

According to sources, CRPF has occupied these premises for professional duties as there is shortage of accommodation in Jammu and Kashmir. (Representative image/Reuters)

Addressing a press conference, CRPF Director General Kuldiep Singh said that the personnel and jawans will vacate premises owned by Kashmiri Pandits if the families ask them to. Sources claim the state government pays rent for these premises.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has occupied 737 premises in Jammu and Kashmir for professional duties, including homes of Kashmiri Pandits and temples, cinema halls, hospitals and hotels, the paramilitary force revealed on Thursday. The force said that these places have been provided by the local government and they pay rent for them.

Addressing a press conference, CRPF Director General Kuldiep Singh said that the personnel and jawans will vacate premises owned by Kashmiri Pandits if the families ask them to.

“We will vacate houses of Kashmiri Pandits which are currently occupied by CRPF if any family or families ask us to. The government will definitely provide us some other location for jawans,” Singh said at the press meet when asked about the CRPF working from Kashmiri Pandits’ houses.

Singh added that the CRPF presence also accords protection to the premises.

According to the data, the CRPF has occupied the following properties in J&K: one school, one hospital, two cinema halls, eight orchards, 26 industrial units and factories, 30 hotels, 71 agricultural lands, 265 other private buildings – which includes the homes of Kashmiri Pandits — and 333 other government buildings.

According to sources, CRPF has occupied these premises for professional duties as there is shortage of accommodation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources told News18.com that the local government pays rent for all premises and the CRPF is just residing there as per the direction of the state government.

“Just like every state government, whenever there is a deployment, the CRPF asks local police to provide accommodation and premises for jawans. In J&K, the government has provided these spaces and they pay rent for it,” a senior CRPF official, who has served in J&K, said.

“We have not illegally occupied these premises as it has been given by the state government. These premises get a good amount as rent from the state government on the basis of a certificate. Recently, land has been given to the CRPF to build infrastructure,” the official explained.

The exodus and pending rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits is once again in the spotlight following the release of the film The Kashmir Files, which stars actor Anupam Kher and has been directed by controversial director Vivek Agnihotri.

The Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs had recently asked the Home Ministry to speed up infrastructural work to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir, and remove bottlenecks in the work to accommodate 6,000 Kashmiri migrants.

The committee said it is concerned about the slow progress in the construction of transit accommodation for Kashmiri migrants at the cost of Rs 920 crore.

“The committee recommends that the MHA may remove bottlenecks hampering the construction of remaining transit accommodations and create a monitoring mechanism for timely completion of the remaining accommodations. Adequate allocation may be requested from the Ministry of Finance for the purpose,” the committee report said.

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first published:March 17, 2022, 17:28 IST