It took Indian army half a century to sanitise the ‘meadow of death’ which has officially devoured seventy lives and left many maimed. After hailing the move, locals living around Tosa Maidan are now getting ready to host Jashn-Ne-Tosamaidan, a two day tourism festival aiming to throw the meadow on tourism map. Bilal Bahadur clicked as sanitising machines were put on task in the meadow.
Goodwill Posture! Early this week, army launched Operation Falah (Welfare) to clear Kashmir’s Tosa Maidan area of unexploded shells. The drive came after leftover shell explosions in the meadow devoured over 63 lives (officially).
Different Movement: The killing of a local youth due to an unexploded shell on July 15 this year is believed to have set the army in motion to clean up the area “to avoid any other loss of life in the future”.
Sniffing Shells: Mohammad Maqbool Margay, the President of Tosa Maidan ‘Save Front’ while thanking army for the step taken, said: Till now 87 people have already been killed.
Relieved View? Tosa Maidan in Budgam District has been in the midst of an ongoing controversy over re-notification of firing range for the Tosa Maidan meadow.
Detecting Deathtrap: Army say they will work initially on the peripheral areas and then look at the impact area: “Our plan is to try and clear it off by three months.”
Mechanical Treatment: In their defense, army say: during the peak of militancy, scores of encounters took place in the meadow and many ammunition dumping sites remained unearthed.
Sanitising Mechanism: This place is used for firing by the army, BSF, CRPF and Air Force since 1964.
Sighting Assurance: After army’s sanitising drive, J&K RTI Movement and Tosamaidan Bachao Front in association with JK Rural Voice and Panchayat Association of Budgam are organising 2 day festival on 9th and 10th August, 2014 at Tosamaidan which will be known as Jashn-Ne-Tosamaidan: “This festival will mark the beginning of Tosamaidan as a Tourism Destination.”