The strike call by Valley traders on September 7, marking the ‘failure’ of the government to rehabilitate flood hit victims of the last year, has received widespread support, ranging from separatists, mainstream political parties to private schools.
“Valley’s private schools, which have been neglected the most by state and Central governments after the 2014 floods devastated infrastructure of many schools, supports the complete shutdown call given by the Kashmir Economic Alliance for September 7,” the Joint Committee of Private Schools said in a statement today.
The KEA, an amalgam of various trade associations of Kashmir, has called for Kashmir Bandh on September 7 against government’s “indifference” towards various sectors of Valley, including trade, tourism and agriculture, which received a serious hit in the floods last year.
President, Joint Committee of Private Schools, GN Var said they were supporting the KEA’s call for September 7 shutdown to protest government’s “failure” to look after their demands and compensate the education sector.
The moderate Hurriyat faction headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in its statement on Thursday said it “fully support the strike”. Mirwaiz had also expressed “concern and regret” over the “complete helplessness” of the Mufti government to rehabilitate flood victims.
The shutdown call has also been supported by hardline Hurriyat faction headed by Syed Ali Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front headed by Yasin Malik.
Besides, the September 7 shutdown has also received support from opposition National Conference, which in its statement said “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 shutdown on the September 7 as mark of protest against the Mufti Government’s indifference towards the flood victims,” NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said in a party statement Thursday. Besides, the traders in worst-hit locality of city, Jawahar Nagar, have also extended the support to shutdown call of September 7 by Kashmir Economic Alliance. Bazar Committee Central Market Jawahar Nagar traders said they fully supported the bandh call given by the KEA.
Meanwhile, the Polo View Traders Association has also extended support to the September 7 shutdown call given by the Kashmir Economic Alliance. “It has been the most difficult period for the business community after the last year’s devastating floods”, a statement of the association said.
Shikara rally to protest govt’s ‘failure’
In a novel way to protest government’s failure to rehabilitate the flood victims, the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) on Friday organised a shikara rally on the Dal Lake. The rally was planned as part of several programmes planned this week by the KEA in the run up to the first anniversary of the September floods last year. KEA chairman Showkat Chowdhary said a year had passed since floods struck the Valley but the government so far “failed” to fully rehabilitate the flood victims. He said the shikara rally was held as a mark of protest against the government’s “failure” to suitably rehabilitate the flood victims. Chowdhary said they also organised a seminar on Friday at ‘Nun Kun’ Restaurant on the banks of the Dal Lake that was attended by stakeholders of tourism, education and industries sector. He said a similar seminar of transporters’ bodies is scheduled for Saturday at the Batamaloo area. “We are organising seminars and rallies in the first week of September as a mark of solidarity with the flood-affected people and also to press the government for the rehabilitation of the people and business community. Aijaz Shahdar, spokesman of the Kashmir Traders Federation (KTF), said the previous state government had proposed Rs 44,000 crore to the Centre as part of the flood rehabilitation programme but now a year had passed and no package had been announced so far. Other groups too are planning events on the first anniversary of the September floods. The Centre for Research and Development Policy (CRDP) will be organising a two-day conclave here on September 6 and 7.