Gurez an undeclared Jail, says Rashid after touring the Valley

Gurez: MLA Langate Er Rashid on Tuesday appealed unionist political parties as well as Hurriyat Conference leaders to do “whatsoever possible” to help people of Gurez in ending their siege and miseries.

Rashid said, “the people of Gurez have not only been deprived of their rights by the civil administration but army has converted major parts of Gurez and Tulail Valley into an undeclared jail.”

After interacting with people in Gurez, Tulail and Baktoor areas during his two day visit to the valley, Rashid in a statement this afternoon said, “in the name of LoC fencing, 70% residential houses and agriculture land has been left to the other side of fencing, as if that portion belongs to the other side of LoC. It has resulted in enormous hardships to the people, leaving them at the complete mercy of army.”

“Barnai, Purana Tulail, Achura, Choor Wan, Refuge Basti and dozens of villages have been completely caged by so-called LoC fencing and all the entries to these villages have been closed. There is just one entry and exit gate in every village and all these gates are either in control of army or BSF. People have been directed not to move out of their houses after 8pm. Almost entire area is without mobile network as army is creating hurdles in allowing telecom companies to provide the same,” Rashid said, “in absence of a tunnel, as promised by successive Chief Ministers, the valley faces tremendous hardships and remains almost cut off from rest of the world for almost seven months. The government doesn’t bother to macadamize or repair the main Bandipora Gurez road.”

The MLA Langate said that despite using all resources of Gurez valley army has preferred to engage hundreds of porters hailing from Jammu.

“While ponies are given boiled drinking water, ill-fated people of Tulail valley cry for a drop of water. There are no bunkers for civilian population to get protected in case of cross LoC shelling. While Union and state governments promised opening of silk route many times but the promises never turned into reality,” he said.

It is worth to mention that Gilgit is just at two hour drive from Gurez.

“Construction of 330 MW power project will benefit less and harm more to the people of Gurez as it has already brought ecological destruction and deforestation in the area. The current ration scale is a big cause of concern for the entire population as they don’t have any agricultural land with them. Army has not compensated to the land owners whose four thousands Kanals of land have been forcibly snatched in 1948 for constructing helipad at Dawar,” he observed.

He added that sentiments and aspirations of people of Gurez, Tulail and Baktoor valley are “similar to that rest of Kashmir, however, their voice goes unheard and Kashmiri people must never forget about the sufferings and sentiments of people of this valley”. (CNS)

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