Shopian: The army on Saturday set up a new garrison at Chilipora village in Sugan hamlet of Shopian district. Chilipora village is situated in the north-east, some 14 kilometers from the district headquarters. This is the third garrison that the army has established in Shopian district in the past three months. On June 20, the army set up a garrison at Nagisharan village, in the same place that the army had vacated ten years ago. On July 18, another garrison was established at Dobipora village, some nine kilometers from the district headquarters and not more than four kilometers from the Imam Sahib garrison.
Residents of the Sugan/Chilipora area told Kashmir Reader that the army set up this new garrison on land which belongs to migrated Pandit families. “We are only 20 households in the village and there is fear that on any provocation the soldiers will beat us, as they did at other places,” a local resident said.
Another resident said that the soldiers had been coming to the spot for the past several days. “Yesterday they were busy levelling the ground and making arrangements of water and electricity. Today, several vehicles of the army and private trucks laden with camping stuff came here. Now there is fear that we would not be able to work in our farms, and our women folk would dare not bring tea and lunch for us,” an elderly man said.
Police sources told Kashmir Reader that there are more than a dozen local militants active in the area, including those whose photos were recently put up by the army as of ‘wanted militants’.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shopian, SA Dinkar said that the increase in army garrisons is directly proportional to the increase in number of militants. “At the time of Burhan Wani’s killing there were only eight militants active in the district. Now there are 30,” he said.
He added that there is more concentration of militants in Shopian than in any other district.