Bomai Residents Threaten Mass Migration

17 March 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Even as the normal life had returned back to normalcy in Bomai village in north Kashmir, the residents have threatened to 'migrate from the village enmass' if the Army camp in the village is not shifted in two days. “The last date for the shifting of Army camp is approaching and after the deadline finishes, we will mass migrate from the village,” the chairman of the coordination committee spearheading the campaign for shifting of the camp Hakeem-ur-Rehman said. He said that the coordination committee has decided to go on agitation from March 19 march and on that day schools, colleges, government and private and offices will be closed and no traffic will be allowed to ply. “On March 20, we will migrate in groups. All men and women will migrate from the village,” he said. “We have only one way to let the world know our plight and it is through peaceful agitation and no one can stop us.” Rehman said they will not raise any slogans and the government has no right to stop them. The residents of the Bomai village said that the state government has no voice and it has miserably failed to provide justice to the people. “It looks the government is handicapped before the Army. Even as state government's own inquiry report has indicted Army for killing two civilians at Bomai, the government led by Omar Abdullah has not been able to shift the camp that has been terrorizing us,” said another resident. “In this situation one wonders as to how the guilty soldiers will be punished by Omar Abdullah?” he asked. “It seems that Army is above law in this part of the country,” he remarked. Two civilians, Muhammed Amin Tantray and Javid Ahmed Dar were killed when troops of 22 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) opened fire on devotees at Bomai village on February 21. The incident sparked massive protests across the valley and soon after the killing of two civilians by Army J-K Chief Minister Abdullah ordered a magisterial inquiry into the firing and set a 15-day deadline for submitting the report. The report has been submitted to the state government. After the killing of two civilians Bomai village and its adjoining villages remained shut for over 15 days as they were demanding shifting of the camp. It was later on the assurance of Deputy Commissioner Baramulla who promised the shifting of camp in three weeks time, the residents called off their strike.