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Accuses Army of ‘luring’ locals :State govt can take care of its people: Kathua DC 

Srinagar, July 27: In an apparent sign of distrust between the Army and local administration in Jammu and Kashmir, deputy commissioner of Kathua district has accused the armed forces of “luring” natives through Sadbhavna project.

CNN-News18 reported that Kathua deputy commissioner Rohit Khajuria, in a letter to a Lieutenant Colonel of Army, said that the state government is competent to take care of its own people and thus Army should remain out.

“The state government is capable of taking care of welfare of the citizens and by luring through Sadbhavna, you cannot risk life and property or citizens,” stated the letter written by the bureaucrat.

The letter dated July 17 has been addressed to Lt Col RK Arya in response to a request for carrying out a small firing in Hiranagar Field for operationalisation of the firing range.

Lt Col Arya’s letter mentioned it clearly that evacuation of locals will not be required and that Army will take all safety measures to make sure there is no loss to life and property.

The request sought assistance of the Kathua local administration to also conduct interaction programmes with the local students under the Sadbhavna project, which has been initiated by the Army as a confidence-building measure with the natives of J&K.

Replying, Kathua DC Khajuria shot a stern letter, not only dismissing the request to render assistance but also accusing Army of luring locals.

Khajuria’s letter stated that a request to carry out small firing has already been rejected and thus Army seems to be “sugar-coating” its demand with Sadbhavna project.

The officer said that there is no question to allow firing without the consent of the people in the nearby villages.