SRINAGAR: Protests in demand of tehsil status continued in Kashmir Valley on Monday.
Srinagar’s Press Enclave resonated with slogans for tehsils or other administrative units as people from different villages arrived in vehicles at the media hub to highlight their demands.
Among the protesters were scores from south Kashmir’s Drobgam village who said they deserved tehsil headquarters instead of neighbouring Rajpora which is only 6.5 km from Pulwama district headquarter.
“We deserve tehsil status, and that too in our village which is located centrally. But the status was given to Rajpora which is only 6.5 km from the district headquarters. There is only politics behind the creation of new administrative units,” the protesters told Kashmir Reader.
On Saturday, the state cabinet under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah gave a nod for creation of 659 new administrative units across Jammu and Kashmir.
The approved administrative units include 46 sub-divisions, 135 tehsils, 177 CD blocks and 301 naibats.
“There are people who have their vested interest in creating ‘inappropriate’ tehsils; they want the people of Drobgam should be deprived of their basic rights,” the Drobgam residents said, and threatened an indefinite strike and asked government to revoke the tehsil status for Rajpora and give it to Drobgam “at the earliest.”
Similar demands were raised by the residents of Wasoora, Palpora of Pulwama which has naiabat status for last 45 years, with the people demanding tehsil status.
“The government in its order has sanctioned tehsil for Shahoora, but has not mentioned the headquarters, because they want to establish it in Litter or Lassipora and deprive us from the tehsil headquarter,” the residents said.
As the protests swelled, it proved to be busy day for cops who were deployed in strength at the Press Enclave to tackle the angry protestors. However, deviating from its standard practice, the police did not beat anyone.
As the protesters from Pulwama dispersed peacefully and left for their respective villages, it was the turn of people from Wachi and Kapran areas of Shopian to register their protests. They said the government has sanctioned tehsil status to Zainpora and Imam Sahab, ignoring their area.
The Wachi residents said the tehsil status to Zainpora “is aimed to target some population to win their votes during the coming elections, as rules and norms for creating new administrative unit were brazenly flouted. Our area is home to a large population comprising many dozens of villages, and we want tehsil status to Wachi.”
The central Kashmir’s Budgam district also joined the chorus with the residents of Soibugh demanding tehsil status.
In Tral area of south Kashmir, residents of Loragam and its adjoining areas said they were shocked over the snub from the government after their village, a niabat since 1976, wasn’t upgraded to tehsil in the recently announced allotment of administrative units by cabinet committee.
The villagers lambasted government for ignoring their village “despite having all the credentials” and pre-requisites to be a tehsil. “We are surprised that our village which was allotted niabat way back 1976 and is a prominent education zone since the ‘80s hasn’t been upgraded to tehsil. We request to the concerned authorities to look into the matter,” said Mohammad Khalil Mirza, who along with dozens of villagers protested against the omission.