Police Foils March By Disabled

SRINAGAR: At least 15 members of Jammu and Kashmir Handicapped Association (JKHA) were arrested by police on Tuesday when they tried to take out a march towards City Centre Lal Chowk on the occasion of World Disability Day.

Reports said that scores of physically challenged people, under the banner of JKHA assembled in Press Enclave Srinagar. They were holding a peaceful protest against “government apathy” towards their plight when police swung into action and chatged on them At least 15 protestors were taken into custody.

Shortly before staging the protest, JKHA president Abdul Rasheed Bhat said that the government was not paying any attention to the long-pending demands of the disabled persons.

He said that the ultimate aim of Disability Day is to show sympathy and support for the dignity, rights and well being of persons suffering from disabilities. “More than 21 years have passed but there is no progress achieved so far for the upliftment of these disabled persons. The long pending demands are still unfulfilled, despite the fact that we had time and again pressing hard for the same, but nobody at the helm of affairs listen to us,” Bhat said.

The protest was later joined by disabled students of Zaiba-Appa Institute of Inclusive Education Bijbehara. 

Carrying placards, “we don’t want pension, we want education” “Give us our rights”, the students said the aim of protest was to inform the general public about the difficulties being faced by the disabled persons.

“We demand our rights be upheld and the schemes for handicapped persons be implemented without delay,” Bhat said, adding even after assurances from the government, nothing has been done.

He accused the state government of failing to implement  schemes even after the funds have been released by  Government of India. “There are many schemes for which the Centre has sanctioned funds, but the state government does not implement the schemes,” he added.

As the protestors tried to move ahead towards main road, police foiled their march and detained at least 15 protestors.

A police official from Khothi Bagh police station said that all of them were released within half an hour of their arrest.

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