KL NEWS NETWORK
Police allegedly resorted to teargas shelling to disperse a massive crowd in Sogam Chadoora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday who opposed the laying of water pipeline from Doodhganga meant to supply water to Old Airport and adjoining areas. Locals of Sogam and Marabla area accused police of ransacking houses and causing massive damage to windowpanes of houses and parked vehicles.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that thousands of inhabitants from different hamlets of Chadoora took to streets and amid clashes with the police asking Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) to stop work on laying of water pipeline. The locals alleged this water pipeline scheme will cause acute water shortage during the peak irrigation season.
“The scheme of construction and fixing of 24-inch pipeline is being undertaken by ERA to supply water to some uptown areas including Old Airport, and Kashmiri Pandit colony at Sheikhpora,” locals said.
The protesters who pelted stones on police after tear-smoke shelling alleged that ERA is working against the wishes of people and for this purpose this agency has been taking shelter of police.
“Police caused heavy damage to our houses, resorted to massive tear-gas shelling and even beat up women protesters,” said a local of Marabal Chadoora adding that work on water pipeline from Sogam to Marabal at present is already in full swing despite vehement opposition from people.
Protesters alleged, “if they will construct the tributary from Doodhganga, there will be no water available for us to irrigate our lands.” “We already have shortage of water and this scheme will cause more droughts like situation,” they said.
A police official while denying use of force on protesters said that some miscreants attacked police personnel with stones.
Director ERA said that this water scheme will even benefit those villagers who are up in arms against it. “Before laying this water pipeline scheme, both PHE and Irrigation departments conducted extensive survey. This beneficial scheme will augment the water supply,” he said.