Srinagar: The people of Yambarzalwari village of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district staged a protest against an Indian army camp in their area which they alleged have encaged the village by blocking its link road for vehicles.
A large number of people from the village reached the office of the deputy commissioner Baramulla where they appealed DC Baramulla to intervene into the matter and save the lives of people.
Mohammad Ramzan Reshi, village head, told reporters that some seven days back an army vehicle was damaged in an IED blast some eight kilometres from the village, however since then the army’s 22RR has blocked the main road to Yambarzalwari and not allowed vehicles to run from Harwan to Yambarzalwari.
“The army put our village in a cage and not allowed Sumo drivers to run their vehicles from Harwan to Yambarzalwari,” he said.
Another protester said that army has not only blocked the road, but they force them to walk by foot through other routes which are very long, and force women and children to enter the army camps.
“They have not allowed our patients to go to nearby Sopore hospital. Yesterday a man died but army did not allow the body to be carried in a vehicle. Later we carried the body on our shoulders,” he said.
From the past five days, the schools including Government High School and Government Primary School Yambarzalwari are shut, because, the villagers said, the army posted in Harwan did not allow teachers to go to their duties and have not allowed schoolchildren to go outside the village.
“Our youth are studying in colleges and secondary schools but from the past few days they are at home because army have not allowed them to move” the protestors said.
The protestors alleged that an army officer Major Vikas of 22 RR told them that the road will not open till the people handover the person who had planted the IED. “Major Vikas not only harasses men he is also harassing our women and young girls,” the protestors said.
Later MLA Langate, Engineer Rashid joined the protestors.
Talking to Kashmir Reader Rashid said that it was unfortunate that the government fails to stop army from doing such things.
“Recently Army Chief Bipin Rawat announced ceasefire, is this ceasefire?” Rashid asked.
“On one hand home minister of India, chief minister of Kashmir said that they want to talk to people of Kashmir, but on other hand army are turning the life of people into hell.”
The commanding officer of the 22 RR and Srinagar based spokesperson of Indian army (PRO) Col Rajash Kalia did not respond to repeated phone calls from this reporter.
Yambarzalwari is a remote village in Sopore tehsil on the hills of Zaingir. It is eight kilometres far from Harwan village, and most the residents are labourers.