Srinagar, Aug 12: TosaMaidan Bachav Front (henceforth TBF) is absolutely shocked by the unfortunate incident of a mysterious TosaMaidan blast today which has taken life of our community member Wajid Ahmed, a resident of Zugo, Kharien. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the members of his family. TBF expresses solidarity with the three community members and their families, who were injured today in the incident. The incident took place while the 4th annual Jashn-e-TosaMaidan-2018 of 5 days between 9-13 August, was ongoing.
In this hour of grief, TBF has called-off the Jashn today on its fourth day. Announcements in the area and the meadow for locales as well as tourists have been made to not fiddle with the unidentified shells or suspicious objects, and to report the same to TBF members or authorities.
TBF strongly demands a thorough investigation of the incident, keeping in view the presence of firing range practices being carried out in the meadow in past and also, vested interest of many groups and individuals in hindering the process of community-driven adventure and rural tourism in TosaMaidan. It is also to highlight for the past 4 years, since TosaMaidan was handed back to the community, tourists and people in the area have been exploring the meadows and no such incident was reported.
So, TBF suspects there could possibly be two reasons for today’s incident :
1) Either it’s an astray/leftover unidentified ordinance(UXOs) which has caused the blast; or
2) There is the possibility of an external hand in causing the blast, suspecting those who have been against the idea of community-based tourism as well as vacation of this firing range earlier.
Either ways, the incident needs a fair and impartial investigation to reach further steps of solution.
In case the leftover shells or unidentified ordinance (UXOs) is the cause of the blast, TBF demands a revised sanitization drive to be carried out in the whole meadow by the Government with the community participation, as 100s of community members are best guides to identify the areas prone to the leftover shells in upper reaches of the meadow.
Furthermore, TBF was initiated with the core purpose to protect lives of people in this belt from firing range practices and we stand adamant to protect the life of every individual in the area and for the safety and security of the community and to uphold its rights. Unless that is not achieved, we will continue to fight. (KNS)