Kupwara: At a time when the government is projecting tourism as a panacea for all Kashmir’s economic woes, the army has asked people not to venture into one of the most beautiful places in the Valley, the Bungus valley, without permission from nearby army camps.
Barring shepherds, not many people dared to go to this place during the early years of militancy. But as the military curbs eased, people started to visit the place.
The army has asked the shepherds to submit their I-Cards. After verification of the cards, the army will take a call on whether to allow them to graze their sheep or not.
Mohammad Akbar, a local shepherd, said, “We deposited our cards a month ago but the army is yet to enter the valley. And the peak grazing season is coming to an end.”
Another local shepherd who requested anonymity said, “We met many army and police officers but they said that as long as militants in the valley are not killed, no one will be allowed to go there.”
Abdul Rasheed, a school teacher, said that “our children were insisting” on having a picnic at Bungus but “army told us to forget about it”.
Bungus was declared as a tourist destination in north Kashmir and the government showcased it as a tourist spot during road shows in India.
However, after a few gunfights and search operations in the area, no tourist came to the place this year so far.