Seeks Defense Minister’s intervention
Srinagar, Mar 18: A man from old Srinagar city Wednesday staged a protest accusing Army of ‘grabbing’ his orchard land and cutting down all the fruit borne trees.
Zahoor Ahmed Zargar who hails from Safakadal area of Srinagar city emerged in Press Enclave Srinagar and narrated the story. He said in 1995, army occupied his orchard land located at Pothkhaw, Sangrama area of Sopore town.
“The orchard land comprising over 5 kanal was taken over by 29 RR against our will. After registering protest even at Jantar Mantar New Delhi, authorities impressed upon the army not to cut fruit trees and allow me to look after them and further, army was directed to pay annual rent to me,” he said.
“I was aghast when army agreed to pay meager Rs 10,000 as rent to me annually. What was disturbing to see, army cut 2 walnut and 75 apple trees to construct barracks on the land. I moved from pillar to post to get justice but of no benefit,” Zargar told Kashmir News Trust.
He further said that the remaining land that is not under occupation of army has also come under threat. “I have done fencing around my land that is under my possession but the soldiers frequently, enter into that land to extract soil,” he said.
Zargar said that Defense Estates Officer had clearly asked the soldiers not to cut any tree existing on the land but they cared a fig of their own order. “Nobody listens to me. I want justice and my land back. I appeal the Defence Minister of India to intervene and do justice,” he said.