SHOPIAN: The army has established a second camp in Shopian district, after setting up one in Nagisharan village some weeks ago. The second base in Shopian district has been set up at Dobipora village, some 11 kilometers from district headquarters in Wachi area.
The garrison at Nagisharan village was established on June 20 this year, at the same spot that the army vacated ten years ago when the area was declared by intelligence agencies as “militancy free”.
The garrison in Dobipora village has been established in the centre of Wachi constituency of Shopian district, where the government forces had detected movement of militants. Sources from police said that a dozen militants are active in the area.
An elderly person from the village said that they are fearful of vandalism and harassment from the army. “The army recently damaged property and beat people in several villages in the area,” he said.
Villagers of Dobipora told Kashmir Reader that they tried to protest the setting up of the garrison in their village. “We told them that if anybody throws a stone at you, you will come and beat us, but they said they will not harass anyone in the village,” a villager told Kashmir Reader.
Another villager said that the army has set up its new camp near the village graveyard. “When we told them there is a graveyard besides the camp, they replied that they will raise a fence,” a youth from the village said.
Dobipora lies at the centre of the cluster of villages that saw a major Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on May 4 this year. There are about 50 households in the village.
“They came here several times but we were not aware that they will set up a camp here. On Monday evening they came with razor wires and other things and set up a garrison here,” a local, wishing anonymity, said.
Srinagar-based army spokesperson Colonial Rajesh Kalia told Kashmir Reader that “This is a routine deployment based on operational requirements.”