Truckers ferrying livestock say Udhampur police harasses them

Srinagar: The truckers ferrying livestock into the valley from different parts of the country have alleged that they are being harassed by traffic police at Udhampur in Jammu.

They said the policemen stop them on one or the other pretext.

 

“For the last more than three months, we have been suffering miserably at the hand of the police. They stop us unnecessarily, not allowing us to move using excuses,” said a trucker, who wished not to be named.

He said the trucks carrying livestock can ply everyday on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

“We carry sheep in our trucks from different parts of the country including Amritsar, Punjab, and Delhi. There, we don’t face problems,” said another trucker, on the condition of anonymity.

General Secretary Kashmir Mutton Dealers Association, Mehraj- ud- din Ganie, said the truckers were forced to pay Rs 1,500 each for travelling from Udhampur.

“The money is taken by one Rinku of Ramban, who later hands it over it the others. The truckers can’t afford to wait for a long time because of the high temperature. If they prefer to stay, it will result in losses,” he said.

“Our vehicles reach Udhampur by 11 am, when there are no restrictions on the movement of our vehicles. We move in other parts of the state or country without hindrances,” he said.

Appealing the authorities to take the issue seriously, he said if the practice didn’t stop, they would be “forced to come onto the streets in protest”.

“We don’t want people to suffer. Government will be responsible for our protests,” he said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Jammu–Srinagar highway, Shakti Parthik, refuted the allegations.

“If someone will come with a proof, I will definitely take action. Actually the district police sets up Nakka at the place,” he said.

District Police chief, Rayees Ahmad, said the deployment was a “normal practice”.

“Our men are there for different purposes. They also keep a watch on the smuggling of contraband drugs,” he said.

He said they would, however, investigate into the allegations against Rinku.

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