‘Illegal Occupation’ of Kulgam SKUAST Unit Affecting Research Work



Authorities at Mountain Research Centre for Field Crops (MRCFC) (erstwhile Rice Research and Regional Station), a constituent unit of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K) located at Khudwani area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district Thursday alleged that forces have illegally occupied some of their buildings, thus drastically affecting research atmosphere of this Centre.

Associate Director MRCFC Ghulam Ahmed Parrey said that during 2010 uprising, Police Post, Khudwani which was located at Qaimoh “forcibly and illegally occupied” three buildings of Mountain Research Centre for Field Crops.

“At first, only 8-10 JK police personnel were posted in the Police Post and now the Police Post has been converted into full police garrison which include JKP, JKAP, SOG, sometimes CRPF and at some occasions Regular Army operate from this Centre. Now they are making illegal occupation stronger day-by-day as they have fenced more than 3 hectares of land by tin sheets and that too without any approval from undersigned or Competent Authority of the University. The Police Station/SOG Camp has been operating from our research centre. The presence of the police post has been causing tremendous difficulties to scientific staff in carrying out research and other related activities at the Centre,” Associate Director said.

Associate Director, according to CNS, said that MRCFC is a vital centre for maintenance of various indigenous and exotic genotypes of rice, wheat and oilseed crops developed and maintained over a long period and is known nationally and internationally for its contribution in evolution of high yielding crop varieties.

Parrey said that the “illegal occupation” by Police and forces attached with police Post Qaimoh Kulgam has drastically affected research atmosphere of this Centre.

“Every time the police, paramilitary and army personnel are observed in the premises of the Centre and their unscheduled movements and their vehicles are constantly disturbing the working atmosphere. All matters pertaining to police cases, criminal cases, accidents and family matters are being dealt openly in the campus itself and consequent to it the status of work culture can just be imagined. During September, 2014, devastating flood further aggravated the situation due to complete felling down of the fencing further enhanced trespassing from all sides.”

“During any law and order problem in the vicinity of our Centre, the University property becomes first causality at the hands of protesters, which in the process of targeting the said Police Post, cause irreparable damage to the property of the Centre and even at times the standing and stored produce are also not spared. Last year in February, June and October, the Farm was converted into a battle field and during the counter operation of forces against the protesters the oilseed, wheat and rice crops were completely tramped over, resulting in loss of valuable germ-plasm of wheat, oilseeds and rice. Such episodes have been a routine at the centre and as a result of which, the staff feels insecure and are hesitant to work at the Centre,” Parrey said adding that he has even communicated to Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir and has requested him to take up the matter with the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the University during the coming University Council Meeting.

He said that Centre “will lose credibility” in case security post is not relocated. “In view of the importance of this Research Centre, with respect to food security, University cannot, under any circumstances, spare even a marla of land for non-agricultural activities or for construction of a Police Post,” Parrey said.

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