26,500 Pashmina goats die of starvation

SRINAGAR: About 26,500 Pashmina goats have died of starvation in Ladakh region, Insaaf Idara (II), a social organisation has alleged.

The organisation, headed by former Director Information Farooq Ahmad Renzu alleged that 26500 Pashmina goats have died in Chanthang area of Ladakh region.

Expressing deep anguish and dismay on cruel death of these goats in sequel to starvation and non availability of fodder, the II pointed out that the basic situation which has led to such starvation of innocent goats has been deliberately caused by biased environmentalist Maneka Gandhi who always projected these Chiru and Changra goats as sources of Shahtosh.

It is because of her wrong and biased propaganda that she ensured banning of Shahtosh and consequently those associated with the trade were rendered jobless, it pointed out.

People associated with Kashmiri Handicrafts would ensure fodder and food to such goats when this trade was not banned, Renzu said.

They would use their wool for Shahtosh and Pashmina and never killed Chiru and Chitra for this purpose as wrongly projected by Ms Gandhi's environment organisation.

Historically these handicrafts have been encouraged by Hazrat Bulbul Shah and Hazrat Syed Ammir-i- Kabir during their lifetimes.

Since then this trade was flourishing from Qarakul lake of Kashgar up to Banihal passes of Kashmir. Even king Nepolian was presented Shahtosh shawl by Kashmiri artisans but due to wrong campaign launched by Ms Gandhi with deliberate target to bring this trade to a stand still thousands of trades were adversely effected.

The Shahtosh was projected as a smuggled item and so many Kashmiris associated with this trade were booked under various offences treating and confusing both Shahtosh and Pashmina as one stuff and unnecessary terming genuine and pious trade as illegal activity.

These circumstances led to collapse of the Shahtosh and Pashmina Industry and these innocent goats could not get proper treatment and food.

Mr Renzu said due to starvation the goats have died, a biggest environmental disaster of present era, adding that no one had raised any voice.

Insaaf reminded Ms Gandhi about anti polythene campaign which was started in Kashmir, he said and alleged that she never extended her support for anti polythene campaign rather she helped 45 industries which were polythene manufacturing units inspite of the Supreme Court's order to shut them.

She believes in protecting harmful dogs on street but did not say a word about the death of thousands of Pashmina goats which was source of livelihood of lakhs of Kashmiries, Mr Renzu said.

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