GILGIT: Villagers reoccupy varsity land
15 September 2004
Gilgit: Hundreds of villagers of the Nomal valley on Tuesday reoccupied a plot of land in Chilmisdad which had been handed over to the Karakoram International University for construction of its departments. Sources said a large number of villagers blocked the Nomal-Gilgit road at around 6pm, demanding return of their land along with compensation for 35 houses demolished by security forces during an operation to eject villagers from the land. The land, measuring 4,400 kanals and situated 5km from here, has been reoccupied on the eve of the visit by Senator Nisar Memon who is here in connection with the NALC electioneering. The land was initially occupied and developed by villagers on Feb 12 after clashes with law-enforcement agencies in which a young man lost his life. Later, the villagers were ejected by the security forces after imposing a curfew on June 10. The land was then handed over to the KIU administration to begin work on the construction of campus and heavy contingents of police and Frontier Constabulary were deployed to maintain the law and order situation.