The trader’s community Wednesday staged a protest against the alleged encroachment of land in and adjoining areas of tourist resort Sonamarg by Army and urged upon the General Officer Commanding Northern Command to look into the matter and initiate action against the erring Army officers.
Scores of traders from Beopar Mandal Kangan carrying banners and placards assembled outside SDM office Kangan on Wednesday. The protestors said that Army encroached upon their more than 100 kanals of land at the tourist resort.
“As people migrate to other villages due to severe cold, the Army occupies the land and claims that they have taken it on lease. This year also the same was repeated,” the protestors said.
President Beopar Mandal Kangan, Gul Muhammad Var told CNS that though they brought the issue into the notice of higher authorities but they failed to check the Army. “It is a disturbing situation for us. They (Army) refuses to acknowledge the government orders and continue to occupy the land during the dead of the night. The Army have even constructed temporary sheds on the land,” he said and appealed GOC 15 Corps to look into the matter and provide a succor to the local residents.
The protestors who marched from Rest House to SDM office Kangan threatened that if the Army continued ‘illegal possession of the land’, they will launch massive agitation.
SDM Kangan, Ghulam Ahmed Mir said that the administration will take action those who violate the norms as nobody is above law.
When contacted a senior Army official said that nowhere in the tourist resort Army has occupied any land. “We are looking into the matter and trying to know the causes what prompts people to believe that army is indulging in encroachment,” he said.