Srinagar: Civil society groups Saturday staged a protest demonstration here against extension of Tosmaidan land to Indian Army.
Members of the Tosmaidan Bachao Front (TMBF), J&K RTI Movement, Panchayat Association and Rural Voice staged a demonstration at the Press Enclave against the extension of lease of thousands of hectares of land in the Tosmaidan meadow in central Kashmir’s Budgam district to Indian Army for artillery exercises.
The protestors said the government must issue a statement and clear its position that the lease would not be extended to Army.
Protesters also threatened to intensify their agitation in case the state government extends the leasing out of forest land to Army. They said that the leasing out of land has already caused extensive damage to the ecology and environment in the area and has even caused damage to natural herbs in the forests division.
The protesters suggested that Tosmaidan should be developed as a tourist destination rather than giving to Army. They said that thousands of Khag residents in central Kashmir would stage a protest in Shunglipora hamlet on April 8 as all but 48 people of this village have died in Army shelling and firing so far.