Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu, who is an ardent supporter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said that SMC was not consulted over the occupation of marriage halls by the CRPF.
Matto, who has changed several political parties said he has raised the issue with the divisional administration for exploring alternative options for housing the security personnel.
He said the Srinagar Municipal Corporation was not consulted on the issue.
“Have spoken to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pole Sb regarding the issue of SMC Community Halls being made available to the CRPF…SMC wasn’t consulted on this decision,” he tweeted.
Mattu noted that community halls are integral to social and community functions, and are constructed in areas where people do not have huge houses and lawns.
“They, hence, are a community necessity. A lot of money has been spent on their construction, upkeep, and maintenance,” he said.
The mayor said the Kashmir divisional commissioner has assured him that “alternative options will be explored”.
“I have strongly urged for this. It is very important that community facilitation services are not hampered. It would be a huge inconvenience to people and also stigmatize law and order measures,” he said.
Mattu maintained that CRPF personnel deployed in Srinagar should have decent and appropriate housing facilities, but community halls should be left for community services.
“This is not a political issue – and should not be distorted as such,” he added.
Public Relation Officer (PRO), CRPF, Abhiram Pankaj said additional troops from within Kashmir Valley were deployed in the city in view of the requirement.
“Rationalisation has happened. These troops have come from the north and south Kashmir,” he said.
Asked why the troopers were housed in community halls, the official said the places for accommodating the forces were chosen by the civil administration.
“The CRPF is getting deployed at the behest of the civil administration. They put us into a place of their choosing,” he added.