SHOPIAN: Constant harassment by soldiers of a new army garrison established in Shopian district has made residents of Kundalan village decide that they will go to the Deputy Commissioner’s office to request that they be granted land somewhere else to settle.
Residents of Kundalan village said that army soldiers again assaulted civilians and vandalised property in the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. They said that such acts of the army are not new for them, as they are subjected to assault, vandalism and summoning of youth to army camps every other day since the establishment of an army garrison at Nagisharan, a kilometre away from Kundalan.
“They barged into the village in the middle of night and started damaging private property including windowpanes, windows and doors,” a villager, requesting anonymity because of fear of reprisal, said.
Villagers said that those who resisted the army were beaten to pulp. One villager, Zahoor Ahmad Dar, was beaten severely by the army soldiers and had to be taken to the sub-district hospital, from where he was referred to SMHS Srinagar, locals said.
The village Numberdar, Ghulam Hassan Dar, said that he told villagers to register an FIR against the army but villagers were too scared to do so. “Police called me on phone and asked what happened in the village. Police told me that they have registered a case in this regard,” Dar said.
He added that tomorrow they will go to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and ask him to shift the villagers to some other place, away from the army. “We don’t want to live here anymore because we don’t have the strength to face the assaults of the government forces daily,” Dar said.
Srinagar-based army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told Kashmir Reader that the villagers’ allegations were “baseless”.
“These claims of the locals are baseless. None of our soldiers was involved in any kind of manhandling or ransacking in the village,” Kalia said.