Srinagar: Strong resentment is brewing among the residents of Hardshiva in Sopore town of Baramulla district where Army has acquired land to set a camp to counter militancy.
Reports and officials told that Army has acquired at least 18 kanals ofÂ Â land from the state government in Pazalpora locality of Hardshiva area of the apple town to establish a camp for its troops posted in the volatile North Kashmir town. The camp, reports and eyewitnesses said was being established to counter militancy in the town.
Senior Army officials identified the land and got it demarcated by the concerned Patwari last week. After demarcation, Army erected scores of poles on the land.
Government primary school and high school and an Eidgah already exist on the hundreds of kanals of grazing land, a portion of which Army has acquired from the government.
The Eidgah, locals said serve as prayer grounds for thousands of residents of Dooru, Sempora, Macchipora, Mundji, Takia Khan Mohammad, Cherhaar, Kawal, Umran and adjoining villages.
Armyâ€™s move to set up a camp, eyewitnesses said has created ripples in Hardshiva and its adjoining villages.
Â At least 30 senior functionaries of local Auqaf committees of the Hardshiva and its adjoining villages this evening held a detailed meeting to discuss the issue.
Â The participants expressed serious concern over governmentâ€™s nod to the Army to set up a camp in the area.
â€œWe will lay down our lives but will not allow Army to set up a camp.
Â We have grown up girls. Will they be safe, if Army comes to the village,â€ an Auqaf member, who attended the meet told a news agency on anonymity.
Yesterday, eyewitnesses said hundreds of people assembled at the Eidgah ground and staged pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations.
Â Chanting slogans, the residents warned the government of any attempt to provide and to the forces.
â€œArmy officials visited the village frequently.
Â We thought it was routine patrolling.
However, last week they came and demarcated a piece of land.
They also erected poles and flags on the land,â€ Abdur Rashid, a local said.
â€œThe occupation of land by the Army has triggered panic in Hardshura and its adjoining villages.
Yesterday, thousands of people staged demonstrations at Eidgah. Angry youth uprooted the flags and poles from the land,â€ he added
Â â€œYes, some land is being provided to Army for setting up a camp.
Â The camp will help to counter growing militancy in the town,â€ a senior civil official wishing not to be named told a news agency.