Power supply to scores of villages affected
BUDGAM: Some two dozen people have been detained during nihgt raids in Goom Ahmadpora village of Pattan last night, following massive protests over establishment of a second 33kv power line through the area, police said.
Officials said that around two dozen people were detained last night following protests after Friday prayers.
“The people have been arrested for damaging the property of PDD worth lakhs and violating law and order situations in the area,” police said”.
“The people have broken electric poles and wires of 33k supply line passing through the area by using tractors and machinery,” police said.
An FIR have been registered at police station Pattan with FIR no 71/18 under section 307 RPC.
A local source told Kashmir Reader that the people of the area were protesting against the establishment of 2nd 33000 KV electric line through the area.
“Authorities have few years back established a 33000 KV line from Ahmadpora station to Magam via main road. They (PDD department and the then deputy commissioner Baramulla) assured us that net will be established beneath the line but till date they have completely failed,” he said.
“Today the department is establishing another 33000 KV line through the same road. The line is even dangling over our houses and schools and we are living a dangerous life,” he said.
Residents said that the line can prove fatal for residents especially children as the degree college and five big schools lie on the same road.
“Almost ten thousand students pass through the same road daily,” residents said.
Residents added that they have offered alternative land to shift the line but authorities were unmoved and “did not pay heed to our pleas”.
“DC Baramulla and PDD department several times assured us that the line will be shifted. Instead they always cheated us by throwing our requests in dustbins,” another resident said.
Irshad Ahmad Wani, a local resident, said that on Friday people were peacefully protesting against the establishment of 2nd 33kv supply line. “But as we reached near Goom, police interfered and lobbed number of tear gas shells. Many were injured and people in response damaged the supply line and electric poles.”
He said the government forces came in late hours and damaged their properties.
“They ransacked our houses and detained dozens in the night hours,” he said. “It is brutal and inhuman and can’t be tolerated at all.”
The incident have evoked sharp criticism from political leaders including resistance leader.
Democratic Party Nationalist, president, Ghulam Hassan Mir said that the problem between the people and Power department requires redress through civil administration and political executive.
“The government is tackling it through use of force alone which is not solution to such problem. I impress upon the Divisional Commissioner to get the issue of laying 33 kv line amicably settled with the people of Goom Pattan,” he added.
President Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian and senior Hurriyat leader Aga Syed Hassan Almosvi condemned the use of force in Goom Ahmadpora Magam on “innocent people who were protesting for a legitimate demand”.
He said that the people demand not to lay another 33K KV service line that could increase safety concerns.
“The police beat up the innocent people including women and arrested dozens of youth,” Mosvi said. “It is an undemocratic and immoral act where poor people are suppressed brutally and are not given right to keep their point. Whatever the results will be, state rulers will be responsible,” he said.
Sub District Magistrate Pattan, Mohammed Saleem, told Kashmir Reader that the local residents took law in their own hands.
“If they had a query they should have sorted it properly. But instead they damaged the property which is inhuman and against the law,” Saleem said.
Asked if the line would be shifted he said;
“It is government land and they have authority to establish line over it. We have no necessity to shift it from the place.”
“We have asked the PDD department and their men are on job to restore the supply. They are connecting the power line through the area amid huge deployment of security forces,” Saleem said.
However, it will take time to restore it again. Meanwhile a number of villages are living in darkness for last two days.