Mirwaiz calls for valley-wide strike on Saturday

Srinagar: The chairman of his faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Mirwaiz Umar FarooqWednesday called for valley-wide strike on Saturday against the proposed extension of Tosa Maidan lease.
Addressing a press conference at APHC Headquarters in Rajbagh, the Kashmir’s chief priest said there will be complete shutdown and peaceful protests on Saturday.
He threatened protests if lease is extended. “If this lease is extended, there will be protests.”
The APHC Human Rights Division has compiled a report on Tosa Maidan which reads: “Tosa Maidan was leased to the army in 1964 for setting up an artillery firing range with the 50-year lease. Tosa Maidan’s lease to the Indian army ends on the 18th of April 2014this year. Since 1964, for six months from May to October every year, the meadow sees scenes of simulated warfare carried out by the army. During this period, the villages reverberate with the barrage of shelling and deafening explosions, forcing the villagers to stay indoors most of the time. The human cost of the military exercises is now causing an outcry not only in the affected villages but across the Kashmir Valley.”
The report further reads:  “On 8 September 1992, three children aged 8, 9 and 12 went to the fringes of Tosa Maidan to graze their cattle when they were drawn to an abandoned object. But when they started playing with it, the object exploded, blowing their bodies into smithereens. The army paid no compensation to the family who have been disabled or killed.”
The people of adjoining villages of Tosa Maidan in Central Kashmir have started a massive agitation against the proposed extension of lease. (GNS)