Uri villagers caged in their own territory

Srinagar, February 25, 2017 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the residents of many villages in Uri district have been caged in their own territory by the Indian army.

Indian Army had laid down concertina wire around the village 14 years ago. The villagers have the luxury of two entry and exit points in the village which are often closed by the Indian soldiers.

“There is a population of around 1350 souls in the border village. The villagers are virtually caged with the razor wire. They can’t move around at their own will and freedom,” Lal Din Khatana, village headman told English Daily Kashmir Reader. He said that the army permanently besieged the village with multiple layers of razor wire. Only two exit and entry points were provided and people are forced to pass through these gates manned by the army personnel.

He said that the villagers had raised question with army but nobody listened to their pleas. He said that the villagers also pleaded with the representatives of local administration and the political leadership but they failed to make any change on the ground situation.

Lal Din Khatana said that around six villages in the border area of Uri including Churanda, Silikote, Tilawari, Hathlanga, Soura and Jabla are completely encircled with concertina wire.

The villagers have written letters of similar content to Indian defence minister, Manohar Parikar, Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat and the puppet Chief Minister of occupied Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, to lift the concertina wire encircling their village that restricts the movement of the residents and their livestock. The letters signed by the villagers including the women and highlight the ordeal of the people due to installation of the razor wire. Another villager said that they fail to understand as to why the village has been encircled completely.

“These are check points for everybody – male, female, young or old. Even the cattle have to virtually undergo identification parades,” he said.

Worse point is that the entry gates are closed after 5 pm and reopen at 7 am next day. “If a guest or relative wants to visit our village, he too has to undergo the humiliating identification,” he said.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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