LOC standoff: Families protest continued detention of kin

SRINAGAR: The family members of the truck drivers held up in Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PaK) for nearly three weeks amid Indo-Pak standoff over LoC trade, Wednesday staged protest demanding  their immediate release.

The family members joined by 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 are our family members (drivers) detained in PcK when they are innocent? What is their fault? If some person has committed any offence, why to punish innocents,” one of 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.

Hajra, one of the protesters, said that their entire family was facing immense difficulties as her husband, detained in Pak, is the lone bread earner.  

Naseema, whose son is among Kashmiri drivers held up in PcK, said that she had undergone a surgery recently and is suffering immensely.

“Instead of staying back at home, I am here to protest in demand for seeking release of my son who has done nothing wrong. There is no one to look after me. I have no money to get medicine as he is lone bread earner.”     

“We are deeply worried over their safety. The government must take concrete steps and end the sufferings of the families of the detained truck drivers,” a leader of Truck Drivers Union, Baramulla said.

He said that the truck drivers have been left to fend for themselves as 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.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmad Khawaja along with other senior officers of administration and police department reached the spot and pacified the protesters with an assurance that issue will be soon resolved. 

“We assured them that within next few days, matter will be resolved as we are continuously in touch with ministry of Home Affairs,” Khawaja said.  

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