Scores of villagers on Thursday staged massive demonstrations at deputy commissioner’s office against the establishment of an army camp at Shamsipora village here
The army’s Rashtriya Rifles has reportedly started measuring the land in the area since Thursday morning. Shamsipora falls under the jurisdiction of police station Kulgam.
The villagers said that the army men refused to listen to their requests of leaving the land and asked them to “talk to DC.”
The protesters, including men, women and children assembled outside the office of deputy commissioner Anantnag and shouted slogans against the government for establishing an army camp in their village.
The protesters later padlocked the DC office and demanded immediate removal of the camp. They also threatened of intensifying the agitation if the army camp is not removed immiediately.
“We strongly oppose the setting up of the army camp in the area as it is an anti-people move,” they said.
Following massive protests from villagers, the district administration rushed to the spot and directed them to meet superintendent of police Kulgam.
Residents said the land taken over by the army is grazing land and a cricket ground, spreading over nearly 10 hectares. The location lies between the new four way lane and the railway line.
“The occupied land is significant for farmers and the youth for sports activities. The villagers have spent Rs 10-15 lakhs on the stadium. However, due to the army establishment, not only sports activities but our daily life is bound to get affected,” a protester said.
Deputy inspector general of police, south Kashmir SP Pani said that “there was a requirement for the establishment of the army camp in the area. The camp is a temporary move and will not hamper the sports activities in the area.”
“I have met the delegation of locals and assured them to look into this matter. More so, the army will cover the minor portion of the land and will leave the sports stadium for locals,” he said.