Employees, Trade Bodies Protest LPG Cap

Srinagar – Various civil society groups including trade bodies and employees unions demonstrated in the civil lines areas of this capital city on Monday to protest the subsidized LPG cap and curtailment in power supply.

Hundreds of activists from Kashmir Traders United Front, Employees Joint Action Committee, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Civil Society groups took to the streets Monday to protest the recent cap on the subsidized cooking gas announced by the centre and blindly implemented by the state government without taking into account the peculiar conditions obtaining in the valley. 

The protest rally was led by the civil society leaders, Shakeel Qalander, Muhammad Sadiq Baqqal, Muhammad Shafi Khan, Muhammad Khursheed Alam, Muntazir Mohi-ud-din, and Jan Muhammad Koul. 

Taking out a massive rally from Lal Chowk to chief minister, Omar Abdullah’s house, the protesters marched shouted slogans: “Make gas supply hassle-free,” “Raise cap of subsidized LPG cylinders,” and “Sarkar, Hosh Mein Aao,” they headed for Gupkar Road but were intercepted by a heavy contingent of police near the Press Enclave.  

Addressing the rally, the leaders described the government’s surrender to the central diktat as “irresponsible and anti-people” and warned it of dire consequences if it failed to address the crisis immediately. “Everyone is fully aware of the situation in the valley, particularly during winter, when the people have to face hardships for want of power, cooking gas and kerosene oil because of their scarcity,” they said.  

The leaders were taken to the chief minister’s office wherethe minister of state for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani, and the chief minister’s political advisor, Mubarak Gul, assured them that the chief minister, Omar Abdullah, would be meeting the civil society and other leaders within two days to work out a solution to the crisis. They said the government had already taken up the raise in subsidized LPG cap with the centre. 

Following assurance by the authorities, the civil society groups deferred their agitation by two days. Sources said they would meet again on Wednesday to chalk out and announce further program.  (Observer Reporter With inputs from KNS)

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