Indian army at loggerheads with Jammuites » Kashmir Media Service

Jammu, May 14 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian Army and locals are at loggerheads after the Indian troops disallowed the people of four villages to carry out any construction work within 1000 yards of an army camp in Nagrota area of Jammu region.

The issue came to the fore when complaints were raised by none other than Speaker of so-called Kashmir Assembly and former Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh from Bharatiya Janata Party at the floor of the house. Indian media quoted Singh as saying that “army doesn’t let people construct even a toilet. People are harassed”.

However, the army has expressed strong resentment against the complaints. The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Nagrota-based 16th Corps, Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh wrote a letter to Nirmal Singh as well as to the Northern Command Chief, Lt Gen Lt Gen Devraj Anbu and expressed resentment saying that the construction had violated the Defence Act, 1903 at Nagrota villages.

The issue had cropped up 23 years ago when Ban villagers met the then Divisional Commissioner, Jammu on August 14, 1995 and objected to the acquisition of land to Army. After hearing the grievances of people, then Divisional Commissioner, Jammu wrote to Deputy Commissioner, Jammu asking him to look into the matter.

In 2002, Army issued a notification restricting any construction within 500 yards of the army camp. In 2007, Army came with an amended notification 7/B that the yard is extended to 1000 yard.

The Army all of a sudden increased the area and banned any construction within 1000 yards around the camp leading to resentment among the people.

Meanwhile, a deputation of Ban village also met Legislative Assembly Speaker, Nirmal Singh and presented their representation to him expressing resentment against restrictions.

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