Residents of Singhpora in Pattan threaten mass mgration

Srinagar, June 9, 2011 : The residents of Singhpora in Pattan area of  Baramulla district has threatened mass migration if the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) lays its hands on thousands kanals of  their agricultural land.

The Singhpora villagers, with a population of 5000 people, already has a Indian Border Security Force (BSF) camp, one of the largest in north Kashmir, spread over 3000 kanals of orchard and agricultural land since 1979. Then, in 1994, Indian Army’s 52 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) occupied 1750 Kanals of land and constructed another camp at Singhpora.

As reported earlier, in April this year, the paramilitary forces was eyeing up to 1000 kanals of land to set up one more camp in the area.

“We’ll be forced to migrate en masse from the village if more land is allotted to paramilitary forces in the area. The forces who are working on the lines of Israel and  want to convert Kashmir into another Palestine,” a senior member of the Singhpora Coordination Committee told media men.

“We met puppet Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) and civil officials and apprised them about the difficulties the villagers will face if the CRPF camp comes up. However, it seems that the people at the helm of affairs chose to look the other way,” he said.

Mohammad Rafiq, a member of the committee said that CRPF officials had visited Singhpora and Uplona villages around two years ago and expressed their willingness to acquire land they had been eyeing for long in the area against compensation. The villagers had turned down the offer and refused to give the CRPF the land.

“On August 27, 2010 the residents were shocked to see the CRPF men accompanied by engineers carrying survey on the land belonging to the villagers. Fearing that the forces were up to something, the villagers had brought the issue into the notice of then Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Lateef-ul-Zaman Deva who had promised that the forces will not be given land in the district. “The forces have acquired enough land in the district. No more land will be allotted to them,” Deva had said.

But, notwithstanding the official assurances, from the last few days the villagers say CRPF officers have been visiting the area again and again, raising fears that the paramilitary force is likely to begin demarcation of the camp in the next two -three days. 

It is due to unresolved Kashmir,  presence of huge army, paramilitary troops and other groups of men in uniform and intelligence agencies with black law AFSPA that has made life of  people  miserable in Kashmir and turned it into hell. Agencies