Jablipora residents protest army occupation of playfield

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Engineer Rasheed tells CM to fulfill demilitarization promise

ARIF RASHID
SRINAGAR: The residents of Jablipora in Anantnag district held a protest in Srinagar on Saturday against the establishment of an army camp in a playground in the area.
The residents led by Langate legislator burned cricket bats and leg guards as a mark of protest against the occupation of the playground.
Engineer Rasheed Saturday said that despite the tall claims of de-militarisation, the government of India is installing new army camps in the residential areas of the Valley.
Carrying placards and chanting slogans at the Press Enclave, the protestors sought removal of army camp, asking Chief Minster Mehbooba Mufti to fulfill her promise of demilitarization.
The residents said that army has occupied a playfield and the Panchayat Ghar in the area despite two army camps already existing in the area.
Talking to media, Rasheed said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on one side running a campaign for “Khelo India”, while on the other hand establishing new army camps in playfields.
He alleged the government is turning south Kashmir into an army garrison by establishing new camps.
The inhabitants threatened to block the Srinagar Anantnag highway if the government failed to remove the army camp from the playfield.
“We will not tolerate the establishment of army camp in the playfields and residential areas of our village and will fight back till government revokes its orders,” a protestor said.
“While people are awaiting Mehbooba Mufti to fulfill her promises of demilitarization, turning south Kashmir into garrison is unacceptable and unwanted. Rather using Army to deal with the situation in towns and villages government must deploy them at the borders and take concrete majors for resolution of the political dispute,” Rasheed said.
He also sought immediate arrest of people who protested “shamelessly” seeking release of SPO involved in rape and murder of eight year old Gujjar girl in Kathua.
He asked chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to act instead of tweeting over the rape and murder.
Later a deputation of protesters met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and gave him a memorandum asking not to establish the camp in Jablipora.

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