A compliant in National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) New Delhi, was filed on Thursday, against the proposed extension of lease to the Tosamaidan pasture after 2014.
The lease of the great pasture is ending early next year and a campaign has already started to pressurize the government to discontinue the lease.
The complaint was registered by a RTI activist Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat From district Budgam.
“The complaint in the NHRC, New Delhi is against the death and destruction caused by Artillery Shelling in Tosamaidan pasture. I have appealed the NHRC that the lease should not be extended after 2014 and the people who died due to mortar shelling, bomb blasts etc must be compensated in the same way as Army personnel are compensated. I have also demanded that persons who turned disable must be given government jobs,” Raja said.
Raja has sought protection of basic human right ‘The Right to Live’ for the inhabitants of villages Chell , Brass , Shonglipora , Drang , and other villages located beneath and around Tosamaidan meadow in district Budgam.
Army undertakes Artillery drills during in Tosemaidan area from last five decades. State government has leased at least 3000 kanals of forest land to the army.
Senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani has already cautioned the authorities not to extend the lease.
Tosamaidan is a vast beautiful pasture located under the foothills of Pir Panchaal range in Khag- Khansahib area of Budgam district.
Famous tourist destination of Gulmarg is located nearby this place towards its north western side. One can even trek to Poonch via this place . From mid 1960’s this area is being used as a Firing Range by the Indian Army . The firing drills have led to death and destruction in the area.
“I am not exaggerating the things at all, but this is a hard fact which many of our security experts won’t like to hear. The government could have developed Tosamaidan as a tourist hub but this couldn’t be done due to heavy artillery, mortar shelling in the area,” Raja said.
“It is submitted that the aforesaid villages are under continuous threat from the Mortar / Artillery shelling being undertaken by the Army since last many decades Scores of people have been killed due to bursting of unexploded shells. In addition to it more than 20 people have turned permanently disable,” reads the complaint.