Tosamaidan is also called the 'meadow of death' by some because of the casualties that are caused by the live shells that explode after the Amy vacates the range following its artillery drills. Villagers say that more than 200 people have been killed and hundreds have lost their limbs in the past five decades because of unexploded shells left unattended by the Army.
The people have formed a committee, the Tosamaidan Bachaw Front to press for the shifting of the firing range. The committee includes the panches and sarpanches of villages around Tosamaidan and members of civil society.
"More than 52,000 people are suffering due to continuous firing and mortar shelling in this area," says a statement by the Front. "It (firing range) is not only a threat to human life but has also disturbed and destroyed the environment and wildlife in the area".
Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has added his voice to the opposition and warned the government to "desist" from extending the lease to the Army. "They (government) should ask the army to vacate the land as the lease agreement period has already expired," Geelani said. "The authorities in Delhi are hellbent on turning the state into a complete military garrison".
The Jammu and Kashmir government, however, says that no lease has ever been granted to the Army for the meadow. "There is no lease agreement. They (army) have been only granted permission (to use it as firing range)," Deputy Commissioner, Budgam, Khursheed Ahmad Shah, told The Indian Express. "Many people have come to us and demanded that lease should not be extended and the firing range should be shifted. We have forwarded their concerns to the government".