Anantnag: A complete shutdown was observed in parts of Kulgam district for the seventh consecutive day on Friday, against the establishment of a forces’ camp inside a Panchayat Ghar in Redwini Bala area.
The shutdown was observed in Khodweni, Qaimoh, Redwini, Havoora, Tashloo, Vanpora, Yaripora, Redwini Ghaat and many other villages against the move.
The Panchayat Ghar was occupied in the dead of the night by joint forces, in Redwini Bala, in the last week of September-much to the displeasure of the locals.
Residents of the area have been continuously knocking doors of the concerned authorities to get the camp removed and the Panchayat Ghar vacated, but to no avail.
“We have met the Deputy Commissioner, the concerned police officials and even held a protest in the Srinagar press colony. But the camp has stayed as it is,” the locals told Kashmir Reader.
They said that the shutdown will continue in the area unless and until the authorities do not remove the camp.
Police sources had told Kashmir Reader that the security agencies had been intending to establish a camp in the area for the last six months now and have finally been successful.
“It has been established to tackle militancy in the area,” a police source told Kashmir Reader.
The locals, however, allege that their life has become difficult ever since the camp was established and the forces have been regularly, “harassing us for no reason at all,”
They alleged that the police, army and CRPF personnel in the camp have not only cut down tress belonging to the locals (for construction of bunkers), but they have also been vandalizing property around.
“Every evening they come out of the camp and vandalize cars, beat local boys for no fault of theirs. They have unleashed a reign of terror in our area and we want the camp to be removed,” the locals alleged.
The district administration has already expressed its helplessness in the matter.
“I was not intimated. It is a security related issue and prerogative of the government to take a call,” DC Kulgam, Dr Shameem Ahmad, had told Kashmir Reader, days after the camp was established.
SSP Kulgam, Harmeet Singh, has been excusing himself and has not talked over the issue, despite repeated attempts made by this reporter.
DIG South Kashmir, Amit Kumar, did not attend the calls made by Kashmir Reader.