25 houses razed in Chilmisdas
11 June 2004
Gilgit: The civil administration with the help of the army on Thursday morning demolished over 30 makeshift houses and other official constructions, and uprooted plantation in Chilmisdas , 3km north of Gilgit, and got vacated over 500 acres of Karakuram International University (KIU) land, sources said. Independent sources said telephone lines between Gilgit and Nomal were snapped on Thursday and reports reaching here indicated that over 500 men and women had started marching towards Chilmisdas to reoccupy the snatched land. The villagers said the law-enforcement agencies first confined the women who were on duty in Chilmisdas in a nearby college and then began flattening huts with bulldozers. 'We were under immense pressure from the cabinet to get KIU land which was occupied by the residents of Nomal,' Northern Areas Home Secretary Saeed Ahmed Khan told reporters on Thursday. District magistrate Judat Ayaz said that they had got vacated the whole Chilmisdas during the operation but would consider villagers' rights over the remaining land once they vacated 1600 kanals land sanctioned for KIU campus. Mr Ayaz said the forces launched the operation as the KIU fund of over Rs100 million was going to lapse due to non-availability of the land for construction of the campus. One Ilyas Karim was killed and dozens injured on February 12 in a clash over the possession of the land. As tension mounted, the village women took the front-line security charge behind which men began to develop land under tight security. The sources said the villagers had already allotted plots to their landholders of Nomal village. Curfew relaxation The authorities extended curfew break to eight hours in the entire municipal limits of Gilgit on Thursday from 10am to 6pm.