After the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir special status with the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in August last year, the Indian Army has set out to buy land for its camps in the Valley.
In the first such instance, the Army has approached Baramulla administration, evincing interest in buying 129 kanal (6.5 hectares) of land at Kreeri high ground at Tapperwari in Pattan area of the north Kashmir district, where the troops are already temporarily stationed, according to a PTI report quoting defence sources.
The sources told PTI that the Quartermaster for Commanding officer of the 19 Infantry Division Ordnance Unit has written to the district administration, requesting it to inform if the administration wishes to sell the land to the Indian army.
The Army has sought the district administration reply by May 30, the PTI reported quoting the sources. It is perhaps for the first time that the Army has directly written to the department concerned for purchasing land in the Valley.
Article 370 deals with special powers conferred upon the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It allows the state constituent Assembly to make its own Constitution, thereby giving it an “autonomous state” power. After the accession of the state to India in 1947, Article 370 served as a “mechanism for managing Centre-state relations with specific reference to Jammu and Kashmir,” senior journalist, late B G Verghese, had said in his book ‘A J&K Primer’.
Apart from the autonomy, Article 370 also lends other powers such as the need of “concurrence of the state government” if the central government plans to make amendments to the concurrent list of subjects.