Srinagar, Nov 20: The state government has given a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) to paramilitary CRPF to acquire around 600 kanals of land in north Kashmir’s Baramulla. According to the residents, the CRPF and Revenue department is in the process of demarcation of the land in Singhpora area. Major portion of the land in question belongs to the people from minority Sikh community who are willing to give it to the CRPF in lieu of monetary compensation.
But the Muslim land owners, many of whom have their houses there, fear to lose their land in the process. “Most of these Sikh land owners do not reside in the village now. They are settled outside state. So they do have any problem in giving the land to CRPF. They are these days in contact will state and CRPF officials to demarcate the land,” Khursheed Ahmad Bakshi, former Sarpanch of the village told Kashmir Reader on Tuesday. He said there are already thousands of kanals of land under the occupation of Army, BSF, and CRPF in the village, “and if another 600 kanals are acquired by the forces our village will turn into a garrison.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the agitated villagers held protests after they were not allowed to meet top officials of CRPF including Inspector General and his deputy. The CRPF officials held a separate meeting with some of the Sikh land owners, according to the residents. “We wanted to meet the officials to tell them that we don’t want to give away our land, but it is unfortunate that we were not allowed to join the meeting. If our land is snatched from us we will launch an agitation against it,” Nazir Ahmad, one of the land owners, said.
He alleged that for last few days, CRPF troopers regularly visit their houses and threaten them of dire consequences “if we raise voice against land acquisition.” “The revenue officials told us that CRPF will acquire only land belonging to the Sikh as they are willing to sell it. If CRPF set up its camp over the land, our houses will fall inside the camp,” said Nazir. Tehsildar Baramulla Bashir Ahmad said that they are in the process of demarcation of land as government had given ‘NOC’ to CRPF in 2007 and all paperwork has been completed. “Even if Muslim owners are unwilling to sell their land, the government can forcibly take it under section 4 of Land Acquisition Act,” the Tehsildar said. However, Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Ghulam Ahmad Khawaja gave a
contradictory statement. He said that no land has been demarcated or acquired yet, but they are surveying the area right now. “Government of India and state government have given the NOC to CRPF, but no land has been identified or demarcated yet,” said Khawaja.
Courtesy: Kashmir Reader