Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani denounced and termed the government’s move unacceptable with regards to extension of lease agreement of three thousand Kanals of land in Toss area in Budgam.
Geelani said that entire population of area is facing tremendous problems and challenges due to presence of the army and its artillery and added that this has badly affected the economy and social life and caused a heavy loss to precious human lives.
“The said land was leased to army for 50 years in 1964 and period expires on March next year. However the administration while ignoring the problems faced by locals insists for extension in lease agreement and thereby causing great concern, said Geelani.
He said that usually the forces use its artillery during the drill and during this process some of the live shells remain undetonated which in future prove detrimental for Bakerwals (shepherds) and their cattle & live stock.
Geelani while quoting the woes, locals face, said that people living there and adjoining areas are poor and belong to economically weaker sections and added that presence of Army and their continuous movement had added to their agonies and difficulties .
Geelani said that if the area of 3000 Kanals is vacated and said that natural scenery beauty of the whole area may become a tourist resort and in turn improve the economy and financial condition of local population.
“The area is rich and famous for its herbal plants and there are every possibility for promotion of industry related to medicine” and added that Shup Nag in upper reaches of the Tosh area serve as a source of drinking water for large population in Khag Budgam and Baramullah district.
Geelani while referring to the large contingent of armed forces and the artillery exercises in the area apprehended that the presence has created uncertainty regarding future of the water resources.
“Presence of armed forces in civilian areas is serious matter and violation of Basic human rights and warned state administration to desist from the move and stressed to ask army to vacate the said land as the lease agreement and period has already expired,” he said.
Geelani said that from the very first day the authorities in Delhi are hell-bent to turn the state into complete military garrison and where ever they get a chance they occupy the land for its military activities and added that as per survey Indian armies have seized and occupied 28 lakh Kanals of land in Jammu and Kashmir and regretted that instead of resisting the trend ,the state administration has ever since provided their full support to army .
While providing the details about the land possessed and occupied by Indian Forces, Geelani said that during past four years forces have seized and occupied 895 Kanals in Bijbehara, 200 Kanals in Shopian and 18 Kanals of vacant land in Hard Shewa Sopor and even occupied the Eid Gah land in Renj Sopor said Syed Ali Geelani .It is a very serious matter, said Geelani and added that Hurriyat Conference will not remain silent and is monitoring the situation and while pledging to fulfill its responsibility ,reiterated to oppose such move.