Families of detained truck drivers stage protests

SRINAGAR: As the deadlock between India and Pakistan continues, the family members of the truck drivers detained in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) on Saturday staged demonstrations demanding their immediate return.

Reports said that the family members of the detained truck drivers and the members of Truck Drivers Union, Baramulla staged demonstrations at the Khanpora Bridge on Srinagar-Muzarfarabad road and demanded the immediate release of the detained truck drivers. The protesters blocked the highway causing disruption in traffic.

“Why have the drivers from this side been detained in PaK when they are innocent. What is their fault? If some person has committed any offence, why to punish others who are innocent,” the protesters said.

The protestors also lashed out at authorities for not taking the issue seriously. They said the government was doing little to secure the release of the detained truck drivers.

“There are no arrangements in other side of LoC for Kashmiri drivers. Their families are deeply worried over their safety. The government must take concrete steps and end the sufferings of the families of the detained truck drivers,” President, Truck Drivers Union, Baramulla, Abdul Majeed Akhoon told GNS.

He said that the truck drivers have been left to fend for themselves since nobody talks about them.

“Their continuous detention is causing huge hardships for their families back home as they are not the owners of the vehicles but are hired by the owners,” he added.

Pertinently, the trouble started on January 17, when police arrested a Pakistani driver after allegedly recovering a huge quantity of brown sugar from his lorry at the Salamabad trade centre here in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. Police had claimed that it recovered 114 packets of brown sugar worth rupees 100 crore from the driver Mohammad Shafiq, son of Abdul Aziz Sarar of Muzafferabad. The arrest of PaK driver has snowballed into a major controversy with the two rival countries suspending trade and travel. (GNS)

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