A video is circulating on social media with the claim that Indian soldiers are allegedly cutting fruit trees that belong to Kashmiri Muslims to “hurt them economically.”
The claim along with the video reads: “Indian soldiers cutting down fruit trees in Kashmir belonging to Kashmiri Muslim just to hurt them economically . The government is following Israeli style . Think about the Apple price what will happen in our country . ??????”’
The video posted by Facebook user Charan Jeet Singh, was viewed over 14,000 times and over 600 users had shared it at the time of publishing this article.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
We searched on YouTube using keywords ‘cutting fruit trees Kashmir’ and found a video uploaded on 25 July, 2018, with the caption ‘Indian Forces Cutting Down Apple Trees’.
A user had commented on the video suggesting that it is from Himachal Pradesh, where trees planted on acquired forest land, had been cut. He further wrote that the Indian Army was not doing this.
A local reporter confirmed to The Quint that the video is indeed from Himachal Pradesh.
“This is from Kotkhai in upper part of Shimla and the video dates back to 2018. In this video, forest officials were cutting trees because the High Court had ordered to cut illegal apple plantations.”A local reporter
According to The Indian Express, in May 2018, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had given a week to Special Investigation Team to finish the cutting of apple plants in Shimla. This was a part of a drive ordered by the court to remove illegal forest encroachments.