Srinagar: Breaking silence, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has termed the abrupt cancellation of movement passes and suspension of mobile services in the middle of a pandemic as an “ill-considered step”.

O May 5, Srinagar district administration cancelled all movement passes in view of large scale misuse. On May 6, mobile and 2G internet services were also suspended.

“The administration has been working round the clock for keeping the wheels moving. There is justifiable stress. But due consideration has to be given to the local community which has been enduring 10 months of what the TIME magazine has termed as the `World’s Longest Lockdown’. The rights and privileges of the people need to be accorded proper respect and they should not be treated as mute savages,” said a KCCI spokesman. 

The spokesman said the focus of the administration would have been better placed on taking punitive action against such elements (who misused the passes).

“It requires no special operations but basic policing. Had action been taken in time, the matter could have been contained without taking resort to such extreme measures,” said a KCCI spokesman.

Instead, he said punishment has been meted out to the genuinely affected people. “It was the responsibility of the administration to first substitute all the passes issued by them with those having enhanced security features before the cancellation. Was it not before the April 24 that the misuse and forgery of passes were detected? Normally shouldn’t urgent steps first have been taken to substitute all the existing passes in the following two weeks?” he asked.

To add to their woes, the spokesman said, mobile services were suspended on May 6 thereby resulting in a total breakdown of any communications. “Only mobile service has restored till May 9. While the KCCI has been unequivocal in appreciating the administration wherever it deserved, fairness,” he said.

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    Rizwan Ahmed shaikh
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