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Home > News > PTI

Villagers opposed to demilitarisation in J&K

Anil Bhat in Kalakote | April 02, 2007 19:26 IST

Fear stalks the mountainous hamlets of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir after Friday's massacre as the minority community is up in arms against demilitarisation, demanding redeployment of army pickets in order to stop the possibility of migration.

"We are sitting ducks for militants in these far-flung areas of region devoid of presence of securtiy forces," Sarpanch of Triyath-Panglar hamlet, Bhod Raj told PTI.

The killing of five Hindus and injuring of four others in the militant attack on Friday is the result of relocation of troops recently. We will be either wiped out by the militants or the community would migrate en mass once demilitarisation takes place, he said.

"Villagers want to migrate after incident. They want an answer from me. Why would I advise them to stay back in absence of security force picket," he said adding that he had once again dmanded re-establishment of army picket in Kalakote.

With tears rolling down his cheeks, 70-year old Preet Singh, who lost his son Rasphal Singh to bullets of the militants, wants to migrate from the village Palglar, but poverity is preventing him from leaving his village.

"But now I have decided to shun this land of terror, where government has failed to save our lives. They want to support the gun culture of Pakistan by demilitarising the state, where ultras would rule us," an irate Singh said.

No different were words of 32-year old Kali Devi, whose husband Chaman Lal was snatched away from her and her three daughters -- all of them below 4 years old, who are trying to understand what had happened to their father laying in silence.

"I had told my husband to migrate to Rajouri town as militants were frequenting the village after army post was withdrawn recently," she said.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ashokh Khajuria told PTI that there has been a "silent" pull out of security forces from Rajouri and Poonch districts in Jammu region recently.

"Our fact-finding team visited places in the border districts of Doda, Poonch and Rajouri. It found that security forces have been removed in these areas. It seems that the Congress-led government at the Centre has surrendered itself to the PDP's demand, compromising with the country's security," he said.

The BJP fact-finding team led by Khajuria found that a whole brigade has been ordered to pull out from Budhal in Rajouri district.

Security forces were also withdrawn from Kulhand in Doda district where 19 Hindus were killed last year, he claimed.

Military pickets were removed from Shatru, Daschan, Pader, Balesa, Martam, Dharmshala and Puranu, he alleged.

Troops were also asked to vacate pickets in Tanna Manchi, Manjakot, Khwas, Shahdra Sharif, Kalakot, Tarihat and Dalhori beyond Budhal in Rajouri district, he claimed.

In Poonch, the removal of troops was evident in Biji, Swarnkot, Gundi, Mandi, Chandiman, Krishnaghati and Chilas, he said.

"There has been relocation of troops of 27 infantry division as well as two-other counter insurgency divisions romeo and unified force in Rajouri and Poonch," an army official said.

"This is regular process and troop relocation depends upon threat assessment and need," they said adding there was no troops withdrawal at all.

"We cannot lower the guard along line of control with Pakistan at all. We cannot compromise with the national security," they said.

Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad had on Saturday told kins of victims of Panglar massacre during his visit to spot that in absence of security forces the fate of people in general would have been much worse.

Therefore any premature attempt of sending them back to barracks is yet not feasible or realistic, he said.

The chief minister assured all possible measures to protect the life and property of the people, adding that security would be strengthened wherever required and army deployment would take place again wherever needed.

He said that village defence committees will be strengthened in Rajouri and Poonch districts and more Special Police Officers would also be provided in these border districts.

There are over 310 remotest and far-flung villages in which minorities are living in Rajouri and Poonch and only 210 such villages are protected by army, police, SPO and VDC pickets till now.



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