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Politicians rue ‘mismanagement’; civil society, biz fear worse

Srinagar, Feb 24: Valley-based political parties, civil society and business associations have blamed Government of India for its “mismanagement” in Kashmir affairs following the uncanny situation in the state in the last few days.

The Centre on Sunday ordered deployment 100 more companies of paramilitary forces in Kashmir. While that decree was being acted on, the authorities in Kashmir launched a massive crackdown against Hurriyat leaders and Jamaat-e-Islami members, arresting dozens of them in the dead of the night.

 

The raids were followed by government advisories to its departments including Health, Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs for readiness.

An uneasy calm prevailed across the valley as rumours had a field day and people in panic rushed for essentials to stores in order to prepare themselves for any eventuality.

National Conference, (NC) General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar, who said it was a case of “mismanagement” of handling the state affairs, said the Centre was not particularly guided by Kashmir policy.

“There is a clear mismanagement by Centre in Kashmir. They issued advisories and then claimed everything is normal. It is for the first time in the history of Kashmir that Centre is confused and don’t know how to handle issues administratively and socially,” Sagar said.

Sagar said the calling of more paramilitary by the Centre was “uncalled for”, considering that the Election Commission of India has not yet issued any notification for the polls.

“They (Centre) created panic and surcharged atmosphere with fear after arrests and advisories. Forces were earlier brought to borders as well but then nothing happened and government had to consider talks,” he added.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) questioned the timing of advisories by the government, saying it left people in chaos.
“There were no such advisories earlier when highway was closed for 10 days. Still elections are not held here for the first time in the valley for which they will require more deployment,” PDP Spokesperson Rafi Ahmed Mir said.

He said the government was issuing contradictory statements, which can have “serious fallout” on the situation in Kashmir.

“The government needs to take immediate cognisance of the prevailing situation in Kashmir. There are some vested interests in the government, which is creating a sort of uneasiness among people,” he said.

Noted Civil Society member and activist, Shakeel Qalander sensed suspicion behind the government directives saying “it indicates something serious is going to happen in coming days.”

“It already consumed many days of our business and will take time to resume. Government’s statements, preparedness by departments and enhancement in deployment speaks volumes about the worsening of situation in Kashmir ahead,” he said.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), senior vice president Nasir Hameed Khan said the current handling of situation in Kashmir would impact businesses adversely.

“We have less stock available and the position of highway is also not good. The government before issuing such orders should have considered the fallouts. There is no fuel available and creating instability will impact both small and large businesses here,” he said.

 

Fuel rationing due to highway closure: Div Com

Srinagar, Feb 24: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Sunday morning said that rationing of petroleum products in the division has been ordered because of persistent closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway and not for any other reason.
He appealed the general public not to heed rumours suggesting shortages or depletion thereof adding that there is no truth to these at all.
He said continuous efforts are underway to fully restore the highway adding that the rationing order will be withdrawn as soon as the highway is fully restored.
He urged the general public not to panic and sought their cooperation.