Villagers demanding water get batons, teargas in Pulwama

Srinagar: Police on Monday resorted to cane charge and teargas shelling after villagers of Wasimarg village of Pulwama district blocked Pakharpora-Yousmarg road against water scarcity.

Locals of Wasimarg said that they are without water supply from over a year. “We are without clean drinking water from last one year. At times, the water supply is restored but that is contaminated and unfit for use,” they said.

The locals said that they have never seen local MLA and Finance Minister after elections and accused him of betrayal. “He came here prior to elections and we voted for him keeping in view his promises but now we regret as no step for our welfare has been taken. Even we don’t have clean drinking water in the village,” a local boy said.

As the protesters continued to block the road leading to Pakharpora, police reached on the spot and tried to pacify them, witnesses said. “However, the protesters continued their protest and did not listen to police. The police after failing to pacify the protesters resorted to baton charge and lobbed teargas shelling,” the eyewitnesses said. They said that many protesters were detained by police.

A senior police officer said that the action against protesters was initiated as a last resort. “We told them that this is a busy road as tourists come and go to Yousmarg but they refused to leave and we were forced to lob few teargas shells,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, AEE PHE, Fida Rizvi, said that the water supply to the village would be restored within three to four days. “The pipes were damaged in the recent cloud bursts and that is why the supply got affected,” he said, adding: “otherwise the supply was on.” He said as of now, a water tanker would be sent to the village for the convenience of people.

Meanwhile, NC district Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir has condemned the police action. “The protesters were not carrying sticks and stones. They were peacefully demanding drinking water but it is shameful that they were subjected to baton charge and teargas shelling,” he said. He alleged that the Rajpora constituency has been ignored by concerned MLA and no attention is being paid towards its development. (GNS)

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