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People cry foul after India allots land to its paramilitary forces in Kashmir

Shahana Butt
Press TV, Indian-controlled Kashmir

In the southern district of Indian-controlled Kashmir’s Pulwama, Fareeda Bano grows vegetables to sustain her family. For decades this family has survived on this small farmland which is surrounded by a huge agricultural land.

Fareed says her family has lost the peace since the government authorities decided to transfer this land to their paramilitary troops.

In a recent move, New Delhi has transferred over 65.5 acres of Kashmir's land to its paramilitary forces and their families stationed in the valley region.

This piece of land between Oukhoo village and the Saithar Gund village is the source of livelihood for some 800 families. For decades, these people have been using this land for agricultural production.

officials say the land will be transferred against the payment as per the stamp duty rates notified for the year 2020. The farmers say the government should reconsider this decision keeping in view the survival of its inhabitants.

The deputy village head says for decades these people have been paying taxes for cultivating this land and due to lack of education, they have not done any legal process for possession of this land.

Fareeda says it has been weeks since the family has slept well thinking where to go and how to survive.

Since New Delhi stripped Kashmir's special status in August 2019 and later amended the land laws permitting any Indian to buy land in Indian-administered Kashmir, the residents are skeptical of the government's intentions to settle outsiders and change the demographic of the Muslim majority region.

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