Kupwara: At least six persons sustained injuries, three of them critically, after a group of cattle strayed in cannabis cultivation in the upper forest area in Lolab on Saturday evening, family members of the injured persons alleged.
The incident took place in Forest Compartment number 40/41 in Nagmari Bomach between two rival communities belonging to Dardpora and Divar Dilbagh Kakkarpati.
Mohammad Maqbool Chakbari alleged the Divar Dilbagh Kakkarpati residents of attacking his community members after several of their cattle strayed into cannabis cultivation, also called ‘Bhang’, belonging to the former community.
“They (Divar Dilbagh Kakkarpati group) attacked us and injured our six persons”, Chakbari said, adding that three of the injured have been referred to District Hospital Baramulla in critical conditions.
Identifying the critically injured as Mohammad Yousaf Awan, Mushtaq Ahmad Chugta, Mohammad Maqbool Chugta he further said that Gudi Begum wife of Riyaz Ahmad, Zainab Noor wife of Shah Jahan and Shakeela Begum wife of Bashir Ahmad Shiekh have received less severe injuries.
Seconded by his colleague Abdul Hamid Chugta told Global News Service that they have moved a complaint into the incident in Police Station Lalpora.
A police official told the news agency that they have taken cognizance of the incident and investigations are going on.
Meanwhile, the incident has given fresh impetus to the demand by locals, seeking stringent and fool-proof action against the cannabis cultivators in the area, who according to them have encroached upon large patches of forest land.
“The authorities have been doing little to nip the evil of cannabis cultivation in the area; they said adding with the freehand being given to such unscrupulous elements, the cultivation has seen a steep increase over a period of time now.”
Urging the authorities to initiate fool-proof measures to put an end to the menace, the locals have in the meantime expressed hope that the district administration will intervene in the matter and direct the authorities concerned to bring the culprits to justice sooner than later.