Notifying Bajpathri? Geelani to Run Public Campaign Against The Move



Syed Ali Geelani
Syed Ali Geelani

Expressing deep concern and anguish over the reported demand of Army for notifying Bajpathri forest area close to Yusmarg hill resort in central Kashmir’s Budgam district for its use as an artillery firing range, Chairperson All Parties Hurriyat Conference (g) Syed Ali Geelani Monday said that by setting up their camps and firing ranges everywhere in Kashmir, “the Indian army is destroying the forests, water resources, environment and the economy of the poor people and they are converting this entire area into a military garrison”.

He expressed deep sorrow over the “likely node of the government to the army’s demand of converting a forest area and a famous tourist spot into a piece of waste-land” and said, “the pro-Indian politicians are mortgaging and auctioning every state property for the chair and the personal benefits and from 1947 till date, these people have always harmed the national interest of Kashmiri people.”

Octogenarian Hurriyat chairperson said, “the setting up of the proposed firing rage in Bajpathri area will badly affect the vast forest area of Budgam and Shopian districts, more than 10 water supply schemes originated from this area and which are feeding the major and huge population of the area will also get impacted by this decision; this proposal will completely destroy the Yusmarg tourist destination forever and the very serious and vital issue is the proposed firing range will endanger the lives of the huge population residing around the Bajpathri area and like Tosmaidan this area will also prove to be a death trap for the people.”

“On the one hand India is seen playing an active role in the Paris Climate Change Conference and the international agreements according to which the attempts are being made at world level to save the world from global warming and other environmental threats but on the other hand to maintain its illegal and forced occupation in Kashmir, this country is destroying every such thing in Jammu & Kashmir which are vital for maintaining environmental equilibrium and which play a key role in controlling the fast rising global temperature,” Geelani, who continues to remain under house detention, said, “India is treating Jammu & Kashmir as its colony of the modern era and this country not only want to continue its military occupation in this region but she wants to convert this place into a mass of destructive weapons. The policy makers of India have no interests with the miseries, life and death of the Kashmiri people, they have nothing to do whether the economy of this region gets destroyed or improved and they have no concerns with the protection of the Forests, water resources and environment of this region, they are only concerned to strengthen their forced occupation in Kashmir and for that purpose they can go to any extent.”

The Hurriyat patriarch said that the health resorts and the vast areas situated over the higher places in the state which could have accommodated many cities and towns “have been already occupied by the Indian forces” and the citizens of this land are forced to live in flood prone areas. “This situation has made the lives of the people as hell and their everything is in danger.”

He expressed dismay and sorrow that first National Conference and now Peoples Democratic Party is playing “the role of Brokers for the New Delhi and they are selling everything of the state to remain in power and to enjoy the luxurious lives”. “Their conscience has died and like Jaffar and Sadiq; they are chopping the roots of their own nation,” he said.

Demanding “revision of allotment of Bajpathri” as proposed firing range for army, Geelani said, “Hurriyat Conference is closely monitoring the situations and we will run a public awareness campaign in this regard.”


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