NC, Hurriyat Back Traders Strike Call

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Unprecedented consensus on Govt’s poor rehab measures

SRINAGAR: Kashmir, for once, is united. The premise and reason for the unity that cuts across political divides and fault lines, affiliations and allegiances, is the PDP-BJP government’s poor and wanting flood rehabilitation efforts or even non efforts. From Geelani to Mirwaiz to the National Conference, all are supporting the strike call given by the traders on the first anniversary of the floods that wreaked devastation across the length and breadth of Kashmir.

Terming the Kashmir Bandh call given by Kashmir Trade Associations on September 7 against the government failure to rehabilitate the flood victims of September 7, 2014 as justified, APHC (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq  expressed his concern and regret over the complete helplessness of government in providing relief and rehabilitation package to the flood victims despite a the passage of a year since the devastated floods damaged the residential and business infrastructure in Kashmir. The Mirwaiz added that, ‘trade was considered as the back bone of Kashmir economy and as such it was highly unfortunate that government had so far exhibited a callous approach to compensate the damages inflicted upon the traders and trade infrastructure by the devastating floods. He denounced the government polices in that regard stating  that the government also denied international aid to Kashmir which clearly reflects the anti-people polices adopted by them.

According to a statement, during the past few days, several trade federations including Kashmir Trader and Manufactures (KTMF) Federation, Kashmir Economic Alliance and other called upon APHC Chairman to apprise him about the government inaction to rehabilitate traders and people affected by the flood.

“The several delegations headed by Mohammad Yasin Khan, Showket Choudhary, Jan Mohammad Maqbool, Manzoor Ahmad and Deen Mohamamd Matoo told Mirwaiz that government had not taken any concrete step or unveiled any policy to compensate the damages to trade infrastructure, businessmen, and flood victims of September 07, 2014.

Despite the passage of a year since  floods devastated Srinagar, the traders told Mirwaiz that government had made only verbal commitments for  flood victims, but practically no step had been taken to redress the sufferings of flood victims including traders,” the statement issued here reads. 

Similarly, while h deciding to fully support the shutdown call on September 7 and other programs given by the different trade organizations, the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani said that the government not only had  miserably failed in rehabilitation of the flood hit people of the state but they even had not repaired the damaged embankments of the water bodies and the common people have been left to  the mercy of the elements.

In a statement, the Hurriyat said: “God-forbid the heavy rains anytime could prove worse than the past and it could lead to another disastrous flood in the valley, adding: “the government of India under a planned manner wants to break the  economic backbone of the  state and they want to make us dependent for everything so that they can continue their illegal and forced occupation in Jammu & Kashmir.”

Terming the spending of millions of rupees over the musical and dance programs by the state government in the memory of last year’s floods as ridiculous and irrational, Hurriyat conference said that the month of September 2014 is remembered as a bitter and harsh reality and it will remain fresh in the hearts and minds of Kashmiris for long time.

“There is no justification in celebrating this day. This is the day of seeking forgiveness and mercy of Almighty Allah from our sins. The people who lost everything in September 2014 floods are living miserable lives. Organizing such functions by the government instead of rehabilitation is ridicules on the part of the state government and it is beyond the understandings of the common Kashmiris,” the amalgam headed by Geelani said. 

Meanwhile the National Conference has also supported call for strike on 7th September

Terming 7th September as a day of shame for the PDP-BJP government  said: “We support the strike call given by various Trade Bodies, Civil Society groups and flood victims to commemorate the one year anniversary of the devastating floods that hit Kashmir in September. One year has come to pass and the PDP-BJP Government has refused to show the bare minimum political will to rehabilitate and compensate the flood victims. We support the call for Hartal on the 7th as a mark of protest against the Mufti Govt’s criminal indifference towards the flood victims”, NC said in a statement issued from Party Headquarters on Thursday. 

The NC said the PDP-BJP Government had intentionally sabotaged the 44,000 crore flood relief package as the State’s Finance Minister had opposed the package on the floor of the Legislative Assembly giving the Central Government an excuse to trivialize the misery and sufferings of the flood victims. “That the Mufi Government deliberately sabotaged the Flood Relief Package is an established fact. It was PDP that foisted elections on a devastated people just a month or so after the worst natural disaster in our contemporary history. By doing so they brought the relief and rehabilitation efforts to a grinding halt. The tried to hide their thirst for power behind the moral smokescreen of a new government being in a better position to rehabilitate the flood victims. A year later, where is the rehabilitation and compensation? Whatever little the flood victims have received in terms of compensation was managed through limited resources by the previous Omar Abdullah-led Government”, NC statement said. 

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