Adding to the woes of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker Dr Nirmal Singh, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry — a frontal organisation of traders and industrialists — here on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “sack him immediately’’ for his utterances against the Indian Army.
Expressing shock and anguish over the recent statement of Singh accusing Indian Army of harassing people, a written communiqué sent by Chamber general secretary Manish Gupta to Prime Minister said, “irresponsible utterances’’ by a person “holding second highest constitutional post in the state’’ against the credentials of the Indian Army was “not in national interest’’.
The communiqué stated that the Chamber or for that matter any Indian will always stand by Indian Army in any given situation and shall not tolerate such statement from anyone whosoever it may be. “By speaking against the army, the Speaker has not only brought a bad name to the pride of Dogras but has also brought a bad name to the political party he belongs to,’’ it said, adding “the Chamber requests your goodself to intervene in the matter and sack him immediately not only from holding this prestigious post but also from the party”.
Singh had landed into a controversy after his wife Mamta Singh started getting a house constructed near Army’s ammunition depot at Ban in Nagrota block. The Army’s 16 Corps Commander Lt General Saranjeet Singh had in a letter told Singh that the construction was “illegal’’ and a “security risk’’.
Brushing aside the Army’s objections, Nirmal Singh had told The Indian Express that the ammunition depot had been in Nagrota since the 1970s. “A village called Ban is adjacent to it. During militancy, the Army built a wall around it. They are saying that you can’t construct anything 1000 m from the outer wall of the depot. My house is 530 m. The moment I started construction, there was opposition. It is politically motivated,’’ he said. “They (army) don’t let people construct even a toilet. People are harassed. You should speak to people there. Because it is my house, it is politically motivated. They started objecting. Why don’t they get a stay, they can’t do it.”