Himachal Pradesh HC gives relief to Nahan villagers

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday directed the army authorities at Nahan to remove barriers blocking free access to the villagers to their native places. The court also asked Deputy Commissioner of Sirmaur to hold a meeting with army authorities on March 2, to revolve the issue.

A vacation bench headed by Justice Rajiv Sharma ordered, "The army authorities are directed to remove the barrier forthwith till the issues raised in the petition (PIL) are resolved finally to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders. The army authorities are also directed to give free access to the villagers €who are subjected to checking even to use a common road."

The Indian Express had earlier reported that the villagers were facing problems due to restrictions imposed by the army authorities on a common road at Nahan town.

"There is no alternative road/path available to the villagers to reach their villages. They (villagers) are put to undue harassment by the Army authorities. The security of the army installation is of paramount importance but the villagers also have the right to use the road to reach their villages. The army authorities cannot be callous and insensitive to the problems faced by the villagers. The road, which is under construction ought to have been permitted to be completed in larger public interest" said order.

The court took notice of the villagers' complaint that work on a road under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has also been objected by the Army authorities. The authorities were told to allow movement of the citizens besides allowing construction of the road.

The court directed Deputy Commissioner of Sirmaur to demarcate the land to resolve the issue once for all within next three months. He was asked to convene a meeting with Superintendent of Police, Sirmaur and Army Commander of the area on March 2,2015 to sort out the matter in complete bonhomie.

"The meeting shall be held at 12.00 noon in the office of Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur. The proceedings of the meeting should be recorded and outcome shall be placed on record on the personal affidavit of the Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur within eight weeks time", said the court order.

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