Corruption allegations against officer: Srinagar mayor, corporators end protest
The mayor and corporators of Srinagar municipal corporation (SMC) ended their indefinite hunger on Saturday after assurance from Kashmir divisional commissioner Pandurang K Pole that their demand for removal of joint commissioner, planning, in the wake of corruption allegations, will be looked into.
The corporators led by mayor Junaid Azim Mattu had staged a protest and launched an indefinite hunger strike on Thursday.
The mayor alleged that SMC’s joint commissioner planning Ghulam Hassan Mir, who is also the head of the task force against illegal constructions and deals with building permissions, was involved in corruption.
Mattu, a leader of Apni Party, had written to the government seeking the removal of Mir and his repatriation to his parent department housing and urban development department (HUDD).
On Saturday, the divisional commissioner had met the mayor, deputy mayor and corporators and assured to look into the matter.
“Div Comm Kashmir, Pole visited SMC on behalf of chief secretary, J&K, and assured us the issues of the people we have raised would be addressed fairly and expeditiously. As we end our protest, I extend my humble gratitude to all fellow corporators for being so resolute,” Mattu said in a tweet on Saturday evening.
The divisional commissioner’s office, meanwhile, tweeted, “On the assurance, mayor, deputy mayor and councillors have called off the protest.”
Mattu said that in a special session of the general council of the Srinagar municipal corporation, a 3/4th majority of the corporation had unanimously passed a resolution seeking the removal of Mir and his replacement as deemed fit by the government.
Denying the allegations, Mir had said that he will file a defamation suit against Mattu after speaking to his lawyers. “I will file a ₹5 crore defamation suit against Mattu. He can stage a protest seeking a person’s transfer but he cannot resort to character assassination,” said Mir.