Illegal felling of Chinar in the vicinity of Zainpora temple triggers row

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Srinagar, Aug 5: A hindu temple with a chinar in a spring in its premise was sought to be protected by Muslims and Hindus of Zainpora area in Shopian district but SDM Zainpora virtually demolished this heritage site by allowing the cutting of a china that was standing in the spring in the premises of the temple.
Locals said ‘a joint delegation of Muslim & Kashmiri Pandits had represented to SDM Zainpora for preservation and protection of the temple but one Mushtaq Ahmed Wani in connivance with a head clerk presently posted at tehsil office Zainpora felled the Chinar for the purposes of land grabbing and encroachment of this heritage site’. It is in place to mention here that the powers to permit cutting of a chinar are vested with the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir only and officials of district administration is empowered to only recommend the case for cutting of chinars. As per rule the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir grants formal permission after a report about the health of the china is submitted to him by a team of senior officers.
Locals said till 1989 both Muslims and Kashmiri pundits used to organize An annual festival and people from entire Zainpora and adjacent areas would come in thousand to participate in the mela. When contacted Deputy Commissioner Shopian Owais Ahmad Said “ I will get the ground realities about the incident verified and anybody responsible for the cutting of chinar or showing laxity in tacking action against the real culprits will be sternly punished’. Meanwhile the locals have lodged a complaint to Governor N N Vohara and a report has been sought on the cutting of chinar in the premises of the temple but action is awaited.