SRINAGAR Jammu and Kashmir Socio Economic Coordination Committee (JKSECC), an amalgam of various trade, industrial, travel, tour, tourism, horticulture, educational, contractors, pharmaceutical, houseboat, bakers, transport and other civil society formations, has expressed serious concern on the undeclared economic war against Kashmiris as a result of which economic activities in the valley have come to a standstill.
A meeting of the amalgam was held in the backdrop of large scale tourist cancellations, frequent closure of the highway and harassment of Kashmiri traders across outside states all of which have badly impacted various industrial and service sector activities in the valley.
The representatives of prominent tour and travel associations informed the meeting that almost 90% cancellations have taken place, the tourists who had booked their packages to the valley in next three months have cancelled their visit. They revealed that the major tour operators in various states, besides the prominent anti Kashmir politicians, have launched a rigorous negative campaign advising tourists to visit destinations other than those in the valley.
The representatives of major hotel and houseboat associations confirmed in the meeting that more than 90% room bookings in valley hotels and houseboats till May 2019 had been cancelled and 10% is in pipeline.
JKSECC has condemned the attacks and harassment of small Kashmiri traders in various states by hooligans forcing them to return back to the valley. Many of these traders have returned without realisation of huge payments receivable from their customers in these states.
The members of JKSECC observed that cancellation of tourist travel as also the harassment of traders was part of the large scale campaign against Kashmiris.
The members said that only a handful of incidents out of thousands of cases of beating and harassment of students, traders and others were reported in the media like recent most incident in Lucknow after which FIR against “unknown perpetrators has been logged under very mild and bailable provisions of law only for an eyewash. It is pertinent to mention that all these incidents gained momentum after some speakers in January this year at a so called conclave on trifurcation organised in Jammu openly advocated for creating fear psychosis among Kashmiri Muslims in various states. Ironically no action was taken by the Governor administration against any of these perpetrators of hate in our own state, regretted the members.
The road blockade of highway during the current winter has been unprecedented in past 7 decades, observed the members of JKSECC. There has hardly been any smooth traffic movement during whole of the winter which has tremendously impacted the industrial and other economic activities in the valley, stated the members.
JKSECC has demanded that Government of India as well as the state government should feel obliged to come clean on the three-pronged economic war aimed at crushing the people of valley economically. The amalgam in consultation with all stakeholders will devise a strategy to counter these mean anti Kashmir plans.