Protest against BSF over land occupation

SRINAGAR: Scores of families from North Kashmir’s Handwara town staged a protest against the troopers for allegedly occupying their land. The protestors said that they were fighting for the last 18 years to get compensation for their land occupied by the troops.

Scores of people from Handwara whose agriculture and horticulture lands have been occupied by 92 Battalion BSF (Border Security Force) since 1993 said the authorities have been resorting to dilly-dallying tactics. “We receive only one response from the authorities: ‘documents are waiting clearance and the matter will be solved soon’,” they told CNS.

Land owners held a massive protest amid anti-BSF slogans in-front of the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Handwara and alleged that they have been tossed like a football from one department to another and from past 18 years BSF is illegally staying in their lands without paying a penny to them.

“The troops have occupied more than 32 kanals of orchard land and we have not been given a single penny so far. The sorry state of affairs is that BSF personnel have erected concrete buildings on our land,” Mohammad Rafiq Sofi said.

Another protestor Surjit Singh said that this land was the only source of his income. “BSF troopers have rendered me landless. It was the only source of my income and I have been living from hand to mouth,” Singh said.

To pacify the agitated protestors, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Handwara, Mir Hussain assured them that he will take up the matter with the authorities of BSF. “I don’t know about the matter properly but the administration will certainly support these landowners,” Mir said. (CNS)

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