Poonch: Protests over army’s bid to occupy graveyard land

Srinagar: Protests broke out Saturday in Mendhar area of border district of Poonch after locals found that army had erected a sentry post at a graveyard despite objections by the locals and the district administration, reports said.
Scores of residents of Sabra Gali village in Mendhar staged anti-army demonstrations after ‘fajr’ prayers when they found that the soldiers of 5 Grenadiers had erected a surveillance tower during the intervening night at the graveyard, said a local news agency GNS.
The protesters said that despite instructions from police and district administration, the army went ahead and constructed the tower.
As the protests were going on, senior police and civil administration officials reached the spot and reprimanded army for constructing the sentry post, the news agency said.
“Even on Friday, we had told army not to erect any post at the graveyard. However, they went ahead. (Saturday) morning after locals protested, the district administration and police got the post removed. Army has been told not to raise any construction around the graveyard,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mendhar, Surinder Singh told GNS.
Singh the situation was “totally peaceful” in the area after the soldiers removed the tower and left the graveyard.
On Friday, an army team had appeared at the graveyard and started digging for the construction of a sentry post.  The army had continued construction work even as the residents had objected strongly to their move. It was only after district administration and police had intervened, army had stopped the work.