Majid Kapra

Parimpora Fruit Mandi traders protest stoppage of their supply truck along highway

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Warn indefinite strike in case ‘harassment’ continues

Srinagar, Apr 24: The fruit and vegetable traders at Parimpora Fruit Mandi Wednesday claimed they are suffering heavy losses due to the ban on civilian traffic movement and unnecessary stoppage of their supply trucks along Srinagar-Jammu national highway by the police.

Traders also held a ‘token strike’ at Valley’s major fruit and vegetable market (Mandi) at Parimpora and also held one hour protest against what they termed “undue harassment” by the police along the strategic highway.

The protesting traders warned that they would suspend trade at Parimpora Mandi from Monday in case police continues to stop fruit and vegetable-laden trucks on the national highway.

They said several representations were moved to the concerned higher-ups including Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, DC Srinagar and IGP Traffic in this regard, however no steps were taken to resolve the issues confronting the traders ever-since the government announced ban on civilian movement on national highway twice a week.

Talking to ‘Kashmir Images’, president New Kashmir Fruit Association (NKFA), Bashir Ahmad Bashir said  the traders face losses of around Rs 5-7 crore per day due to unnecessary stoppage of truckloads by the police at several places along the highway. He said fruits and vegetables rot inside trucks due to these forced halts of trucks carrying them.

“On one hand we face highway clampdown while on the other hand our trucks carrying fruits and vegetables are not being allowed to move towards Srinagar from Udhampur, and from Qazigund to Jammu. Only daily losses are around Rs 5-7 crores,” he said.

NKFA president also alleged that police “for unknown reasons” does not allow trucks to move to Srinagar from Jammu “even on normal days”.

He said the authorities keep on turning blind eye towards the issues traders are facing since the ban on civilian movement was announced on highway by the government.

“We have every reason to halt business, we know our strike will affect people but we are helpless because we are being harassed unnecessarily by the police along the Srinagar-Jammu highway. Either government should resolve our issues on priority or else we will go for an indefinite strike from Monday,” he said, adding “now the onus lies with the government.”

The traders before concluding their protest once again appealed Governor Satyapal Malik to intervene in the matter and seek an explanation from police regarding “highway deterrence”.

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