Troops inflict massive damage to J

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Srinagar, Nov 13 (UNI) Breakaway Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani today alleged that security forces were inflicting ''massive and irrecoverable damage'' to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir, and making the people of Valley financially unstable.

Addressing a news conference at his Hyderpora residence here after remaining under house arrest for three consecutive days, he alleged that India was destroying the properties of the people of Kashmir in a ''well-planned'' manner.

Mr Geelani charged the troops with plundering and setting afire the properties of the people of Kashmir. ''The plundering and setting ablaze houses and properties has made the lives of the people of Kashmir miserable,'' he claimed.

Quoting rough estimates, the breakaway Hurriyat Chairman claimed that the damages inflicted by troops in Sopore recently could have resulted in a loss of more than Rs 25.7 million to the locals while in Pattan the damages stood at Rs 3.6 million.

''At present, the people of Kashmir were in a state of cold war with troops. They are being subjected to some worst form of human rights abuses by the so-called security forces and their lives, properties and dignities are unsafe,'' he added.

Mr Geelani urged the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government to compensate the people of Sopore and Pattan as they have lost their properties in arson following fierce gun-battles between the militants and the security forces.

He also alleged that the security forces, under a ''particular defence'' policy, were destroying the forests of Kashmir by setting the jungles on fire, which could be very damaging to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir.

The senior separatist leader urged the international community to use their influence over India and impress upon it to stop the alleged ''gross human rights violations'' in Jammu and Kashmir.

UNI

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