SRINAGAR: Kashmir observed complete shutdown on Monday on the first anniversary of 2014 floods against PDP-BJP coalition government’s failure to rehabilitate the floods victims.
All shops, business establishments, petrol pumps, education institutions in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley remained closed while public transport was off the roads.
The work in government offices and banks remained affected due to the shutdown, which was called by traders and supporters by separatists and opposition National Conference against government’s failure to rehabilitate the floods victims.
Police this morning detained some traders, who had given the shutdown call. Those detained included Kashmir Traders Federation and Manufacturers Federation president Muhammad Yaseen Khan and Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairman Showkat Chowdhary.
Police and paramilitary personnel had also sealed Ganta Ghar in city centre Lal chowk to prevent business community, traders, civil society members and flood victims from assembling there and staging anti-government protest.
Authorities had also placed senior separatist leaders, including hardliner Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, pro-independence JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah and others under house arrest to prevent them to participate in the protest rally.
KTMF president Mohammed Yasin Khan condemned the curbs imposed by government to prevent traders and people from observing the first anniversary of floods.
He said it is for the first time in the history of Kashmir that such kind of clampdown on business leaders was executed.
About 300 people were killed and over three lakh houses damaged in the floods last year.
The flood victims are still complaining that they have not been provided relief compensation by the government to rebuild their damages houses. Many families are still living in tents.
The previous J&K government led by Omar Abdullah had submitted a proposal for Rs 44000 crores relief package to central government. The package has not been approved yet by the central government despite a passage of a year.
Meanwhile, former J&K chief minister and opposition National Conference Working President, Omar Abdullah said central government should allow international aid to Kashmir if it was not in a position to provide succor to the flood victims.
“If central government is not willing to release the aid or doesn’t have the money then they should allow foreign aid from whatever available means,” Omar said on the sidelines of a blood donation camp organized by his National Conference at its party headquarters, here in memory of people who died in the devastating floods last year.
He said it was his government that started to work on International aid by bringing World Bank to Kashmir. “I held the first meeting with them and prepared a detailed project before the election code was implemented in the State but the project is yet to take off,” he said.
Taking a dig at PDP, Omar said arresting traders ahead of their protest rally against government’s failure to rehabilitate last year’s flood victims had exposed Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s “battle of ideas”.
Terming PDP’s decision to celebrate the anniversary of the floods as unfortunate, Omar said, “The reality is that people, who were affected by the floods, have got nothing to celebrate.”
Condemning the arrest of traders and placing curbs on movement of separatists, a spokesman of hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani said today’s program was not any political programs but the people were to raise their voices peacefully with regarding to the rehabilitation of the flood victims