Report from Jammu and Kashmir: Administration cuts thousands of apple trees as encroachment, crisis on livelihood of 15 lakh people


People living in the forests in Jammu and Kashmir are upset. Among them is the Gurjar community. Since November last year, the administration has started evacuating people living in temporary sheds and mud houses on forests and mountains. In the name of encroachment, their bases are being demolished, gardens and gardens are being demolished. This has stirred these people. A total of 1.5 million people live in forests in Jammu and Kashmir.

Ahsan Wage, 62, hailing from Kanidajan village in Budgam district of Kashmir, is in shock. In December last year, the forest department gave him notice to vacate the place and the next day he cut 200 of his apple trees. He says that it took many years to build this garden. This was the only support for his family for decades. They do not understand why the administration did this. Why destroyed their gardens without warning.. He says that I feel that I have lost a member of my family, I have become ill, there is not even the courage to walk.

The village is home to 1200 people from 400 families, who have been farming on wild land for decades. Wage says that about 10,000 apple trees have been cut in 35 gardens here. We have been farming here for more than 100 years and now suddenly these people axed our village and devastated our gardens. In this village, 30 trees of Bashir Ahmed have also been cut. They say why the administration is in such a hurry.When the government developed the area for us, provided electricity and water facilities, then why it is desolate is beyond comprehension.