‘Meadow of Death’ Tosa Maidan claims one more precious life


Bilal Bashir Bhat
Srinagar, Aug 12 (Only Kashmir): The celebrations turned into mourning particularly for those hundreds of people including students of several schools who had come from the length and breadth of Kashmir Valley to be the part of five days 4th annual festival, “Jashn-e-Tosa Maidan” in the lush green meadows of Tosa Maidan in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district after a mysterious blast explosion resulted in killing of a person and seriously injuring two others.
Reports reaching Onlykashmir[dot]in to commemorate the 4th Anniversary of the liberation of Tosa Maidan from Army, Tosa Maidan Bachao Front-TBF & School for Rural Development & Environment-SRDE had jointly organized its 4th annual festival, titled “Jashn-e-TosaMaidan” in the lush green meadows of Tosa Maidan between 9th to 13th August 2018. The event was attended by hundreds of people from different sections of the society including students.

On Saturday the 4th day of the event, amid the celebrations a sudden blast exploded in meadows causing major injuries to three persons identified as Wajid Ahmad Ahanger (25), Mudhasir Ahmad Ganai (20) and Wasim Ahmad Ganai (22). All the injured were shifted to SDH Khag and two injured were subsequently referred to JVC Srinagar for specialized treatment. Later one of the injured persons Wajid Bashir Ahanger of Zago Khareen, Beerwah succumbs to his injuries.
“Soon after the news regarding the killing of person came into light all the celebrations at Tosa Maidan were called off followed by a fresh advisory by the Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Sehrish Asgar asking people not to fiddle with any shell or other suspected object lying in the area,” said a local resident talking to Onlykashmir[dot]in, adding, announcements in local mosques and other places adjoining Tosamaidan were made urging people not to touch or fiddle with any suspected object in the area.
Meanwhile expressing shock over the incident, Tosa Maidan Bachav Front in a statement to Onlykashmir[dot]in, demands a impartial probe 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 Tosa Maidan.

The Tosa Maidan Bachav Front demanded 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.
Pertinently, shells in the Tosa Maidan have so far killed at least over 65 and disabled 150, because of these deaths and destructions Tosa Maidan earned the name “Meadow of Death.” Tosa Maidan was reclaimed from Army almost after five decades following a campaign Save Tosa Maidan led by Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, who also heads the J&K RTI Movement. (OK)