Shopian: Ten years after the area was declared militant-free, a new army garrison was set up on Tuesday at Nagisharan village in Shopian district.
Residents of Nagisharan village told Kashmir Reader that ten years ago the old army garrison was dismantled but now the army has set up a new garrison at the same place.
Villagers said they had no information that a new army camp was being set up in their village. “On Tuesday morning we were surprised to find a new army garrison in the village,” several villagers said.
Ten years ago, the army camp was operating from the premises of a private school, villagers said. The army has now occupied more land around the old site to set up their new camp.
Villagers said that the military garrison is surrounded with residential houses, creating a sense of fear among the people living there.
Villagers also said they were confused why the garrison had come again to their village. “There was no activity of militants for the past decade, nor any encounter occurred in the area. We don’t know why they have come again to our village,” they said.
The new army camp is located on Shopian-Anantnag Road. Locals said that ten years ago this stretch of road was infamous for army soldiers harassing passers-by. “We used to take an alternative road to avoid being harassed by the army men,” a cab driver from the area said.
The Bihibag army camp is another major army garrison in the area.
Villagers told Kashmir Reader that the army had set up tents in the village for the new garrison.
At nearby Pahnoo village, the army continues to occupy about four kanals of SKUAST university land that it took over during the 2016 uprising. The army has not vacated the land despite assuring SKUAST that they will vacate the land by April 2017.