By Ishfaq Reshi
Budran (Budgam): The government forces have set ablaze rice crop and grass stacks on fire in four villages of Budgam district, the local villagers said.
The villagers said the forces, whom they said were police, paramilitary troopers and soldiers, fired incendiary projectiles into the harvested rice crop that had been left to dry in sun in Budran, Aadina, Kanihama and Mazhama villages.
“There was no clash or stone pelting. They burned the crop only to punish us,” said Bashir Ahmad, a victim.
He said the forces have also damaged the standing paddy crop in several fields.
“This was both the source of our income and daily diet. Ours is a big family. It is the new means of oppression. First, they damaged our electric transformers,” said Mohammad Hussain, a resident of Budran.
Hussain said the farmers were already finding it difficult to harvest the crop because of curfew and because of the fear of government forces.
Many farmers Kashmir Reader spoke to said the yield has been abundant this year and but for the restrictions they would have completed harvesting by now.
Residents of Sundepora village in Bijbehara in Anantnag district alleged that troops set afire at least six paddy stacks in rice fields in the village.