Redwani residents demand removal of army camp, threaten mass migration

Redwani residents demand removal of army camp, threaten mass migration
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ITIFAQ LONE

SRINAGAR: Irked by the night raids and harassments, residents of Redwani area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Monday held a protest demonstration here against setting up of new army camp in the middle of their village.
The protesting people demanded removal of the camp which according to them has turned their lives into “hell”. They said the area has already a huge presence of army camps and questioned the need to establish new ones in their area.
The protesting residents assembled here in press enclave and raised slogans against the Army and authorities for allowing the establishment of an army camp at Redwani bala village which is already surrounded by three army camps within a radius of 3 kilometres in the nearby villages like Fresal, Khudwani and Sonigam village.
Redwani area consists of villages including Redwani payeen and Bala, Hawoorah, Vidowmishpora, Kaladrang, Batapora and Kujar; having the population of more than fifteen thousand souls from more than 1100 residential houses “is in total insecurity just because of the army camp”, the residents say.
One of the protesters, G M Dar said that all the ‘educational institutions are shut from last seven days in the area because the students have the ‘threat of crossing the army camp’ on the way. He said “We do not have electricity from last three days because army soldiers have damaged the transformers by firing bullets.”
“We feel suffocation like situation and imprisoned in our own homes from the day the new army camp was established here, we do not even allow our women folk to go outside since the army surrounds the whole village,” Dar said.
Another protesting resident, M A Dar said that the army personnel de-rooted more than five chinar trees and cut off other trees to establish the camp there. He said that the shelling sound during the night has become a nightmare for them.
Dar said “forces siege the area anytime they wish and do not allow anyone to pass through.”
Protesting residents alleged army personnel for damaging more than 60 houses and 20 vehicles during night patrol, besides eight transformers in the Redwani village. They said that they are yet to reap the paddy crop due to threat of the army since the fields are around the camp.
“We demand the immediate removal of camp from the area else the government will watch the massive migration of Redwani villagers,” the protesters threatened.