Anantnag: Panic, anger and frustration grips people of Mahend village in Anantnag district after some unidentified miscreants have been damaging their apple trees for more than a week now in night.
More than 250 trees have been damaged in three such incidents spanning over a week in as many as eight apple orchards of the village, villagers said.
Kashmir Reader talked to some locals who said that the first incident took place a week ago when three orchards belonging to Abdul Aziz Wagay, Shabir Ahmad Sofi and Ghulam Muhammad Dar, were targeted by miscreants.
“At first we thought it might be because of some personal animosity or other such issue and the incident was brushed off by the villagers,” the locals said.
However repeated incidents, the villagers maintain, are pointing towards something more sinister in nature.
“On June three orchards of Abdul Rasheed Rather, Abdul Raheem Rather and Abdul Rahim Bhat were targeted. More than 50 trees were damaged in each orchard,” the locals said.
The locals wonder about who has the muscle and the audacity to carry out such acts of vandalism without using any tools.
“It looks like the trees are being damaged by sheer force of the arms by holding the branches on the two sides and tearing the tree apart,” the locals said.
The frustration of the locals peaked this morning after they found trees in two more orchards of Ghulam Hassan Wagay and Tanveer Ahmad Ganai damaged.
“Around 80 trees have been damaged in these two orchards as well taking the number of trees damaged thus far to around 300,” the locals said.
Worried locals approached the police and they visited these orchards following which an investigation has been launched.
“We have taken cognizance of the matter and investigation has been taken up. We will get to the depth of the matter soon,” Station House Officer (SHO) Srigufwara, Waseem Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader.
“These are small plants that have been grafted year or two back. Someone has broken them with their hands during the night hours,” he added.