Ratle power project: Rasheed calls for joint stand to save J&K’s resources

Former legislator and AIP chairman Er.
Ratle power project: Rasheed calls for joint stand to save J&K’s resources
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

Former legislator and AIP chairman Er. Rasheed on Monday appealed to the political parties and the Joint Resistance leadership (JRL) to take a joint stand to stop New Delhi from "looting" the resources of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing media persons at Kashmir Press Club here, Rasheed appealed to the political parties and civil society to take a stand on the decision to handing over Ratle power project coming up on Chenab river in Kishtwar to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).

"The agreement is unfortunate and exchanging silently the MoU between officials of state power development department and NHPC in presence of Prime Minister speaks volumes about New Delhi's intentions," he said.

Rasheed appealed to the NC, PDP, civil society and joint resistance leadership to "move beyond words" and tell New Delhi louder and clear that continuous "looting" of resources of Kashmiris is not acceptable.

"While NHPC has already failed to abide by its previous agreements made with J&K government from time to time, one fails to understand why one more dream power project was gifted to NHPC," he said, while accusing the NHPC of acting like East India Company.

"What happened to the previous MOUs, ensuring return of power projects – including Uri-I, Uri-II, Salal, Dul Hasti, Kishan Ganaga, Seva-II, Nimoo, Bazgo, Chuttak having a total output of around 2400 MW – to the state government?" he asked.

"The MOU signed in July 2000 has been thrown in dustbin and not only the working groups but the Rangarajan committee had also recommended return of power projects to the state government in order to make state financially resourceful and sound," he added.

Rasheed said there are credible inputs that after Ratle; Kirthai-1, Kirthai-2 and Sawlakote power projects having a capacity of 3200 MW will be given to NHPC and people of state will get nothing out of the deed.

He said people of Jammu should also understand that return of existing power projects and gifting of new ones is not issue of just one region but that of the entire state.

Appealing PM Modi to be "realistic", he said: "While Modi Ji claims to break backbone of militancy in Kashmir he needs to be reminded that militancy is creation of India's denial to fulfill commitments made with people of J&K at United Nations."

Rasheed also narrated how he was "dragged and manhandled" by the police from his bedroom on the eve of Modi's arrival in Srinagar.

"I have nothing against the local cops but the way they have been executing every petty shameful order to please their bosses is unfortunate. Unless local cops don't respond to the call of their conscience, the wedge between masses and the local cops will increase," he said.

"It is high time for local jawans and officers to tell their officers that they cannot humiliate, attack and target their own people beyond a certain point. The shameful conduct of police has yet again proved that nothing lies in hands of civil administration and from tehsildars to commissioners, bureaucrats have become helpless before men in uniform," he added.

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