Mehbooba accuses Army of Forced Labour in South Kashmir Village, Army Denies Charge

Mehbooba Mufti, in a post on X, said the residents of Kanslo Kanda area in Kulgam were being summoned and harassed by a camp of Army’s 9 Rashtriya Rifles

Former J&K chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday accused the army of forcing young men to do labour without payment in a south Kashmir village in Kulgam. However, the army has denied the allegations.

Mehbooba Mufti, in a post on X, said the residents of Kanslo Kanda area in Kulgam were being summoned and harassed by a camp of Army’s 9 Rashtriya Rifles.

“Received distressing calls from residents of Kanslo Kanda area in Kulgam about them being allegedly harassed by 9 RR camp troops. Also concerned that they are summoning young men to the army camp & forcing them to do labour work for free,” Mufti said.

The PDP leader requested Awantipora General officer Commanding (GoC) Balbir Singh to look into these worrying allegations. “If true he must ensure those involved are taken to task,” she said and tagged Chinar Corps and Northern Command besides ADGPI and PRO Defence.

Srinagar-based PRO of Army, Lieutenant Colonel MK Sahu denied the allegations and said they have been hiring labourers and paying them their wages besides also providing them food.

“It is not true. Casual labourers are employed on a daily basis and all are given food and money on time. It doesn’t happen that way (what has been alleged). We have checked with our local formation and the allegations are false,” he said.

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