Army has set up a new camp in south Kashmir’s Shopian district while two more such camps would be set up in its “volatile” areas in coming days.
Sources told Kashmir Post that soldiers of Army’s 62 Rashtriya Rifles have set up a camp in a building of Public Health Engineering (PHE) department in Nagisharen village, nearly 10 kms from Behibagh army camp.
“The village is located eight kilometers from the Kulgam district boundary. The 62 RR is sharing operational duties with Kulgam as well as Shopian district,” they said.
Residents called the establishment of new army camp as “remilitarization.”
“It will affect the daily lives of several villages including Hajipora, Chakoora, Manzpora and Tachloo,” Shahid Ahmed, a resident of Nagisharen told this newspaper over phone.
A source said army bases are being set up in Shopian to “intensify” the anti-militancy operations in the district.
“Security agencies believe that some militant videos that went viral on social media were shot in south Kashmir areas, especially Shopian,” said a source in the Army. “In wake of videos and attacks, anti-militancy operations will be intensified in Shopian district and other areas of south Kashmir.”
Army officials said South Kashmir is “a bit hot. Lots of local militants are joining various outfits. We are trying to bring the situation under control. The operations are important and we need more bases.”
“Such bases will help us in ensuring vast area domination,” an official said.
Superintendent of Police Shopian, Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar refused to divulge any detail about the development. “I am not meant to disclose such details to media,” he said and disconnected the phone.
Army’s Srinagar-based spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that he had no information about it. “This is routine re-deployment based on operation requirement,” he added.
Pertinently, on May 4, Army had carried out a day-long search operation spanning nearly two dozen villages and involving more than 4,000 soldiers in Shopian district. However, they had to return empty. After the operation ended, militants in the evening attacked the Army patrol leading to the death of a civilian vehicle driver and injury to some soldiers.