Other States

‘Supply of petrol, eatables halted in J&K’

Traders and locals have accused the government of stopping the supply of eatables and petrol in parts of Kashmir, stoking a fresh wave of anger among residents, as curfew, shutdown and restrictions continued to affect normal life for the 41st day on Thursday.

Bilal Ahmad, spokesman of the Petrol Dealers Association, Kashmir, alleged that since Wednesday morning Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil “have stopped distributing fuel to dealers in the Valley.”

State Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister Choudhary Zulfikar Ali denied any such direction has been issued. “We have not asked oil depot owners to stop supplying fuel.”

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan said the oil dealers’ concern that tankers were coming under attack was being looked into.

Contrary to the government position, a police party on Thursday raided petrol pumps in the old city. “The police chased vehicle owners at the Mill Stop petrol pump near Nowshera and stopped sale of petrol,” said a local.

Besides petrol supplies, locals alleged that in the garb of night curfew the authorities have stopped supply of eatables from villages into the towns and Srinagar city. Locals alleged that movement of eatables, particularly of vegetables and milk, that would move before sunrise were halted by the security forces in north and south Kashmir.

A police officer told The Hindu that the security forces were only implementing strict curfew.

Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) chairperson Mohammed Yasin Khan said, “The curfew and blocked supplies is neither Insaaniyat [Humanity] nor Jamhooriyat [democracy] but Yazidiyat (oppressing force).

From milk to vegetables to medicines and oil, nothing is being allowed to be sold even in the hours when Hurriyat announces relaxation. By countering the Hurriyat calendar, the government is only deepening the crises,” Mr. Khan said.

He alleged that the police were ransacking shops and hawkers who try to open their outlets during the relaxation period.

“The trader community is being pushed to the wall,” added Mr. Khan.

The Opposition National Conference too condemned the move to ban supplies. “The curbs on fuel are outrageous and will pose enormous difficulties to Hajjis, patients and attendants as well as doctors who have to reach hospitals.”

Wrong tactic

“Mass repression against civilians will worsen the situation and comes with the risk of a public revolt that goes beyond the scope of the traditional operational containment — which is the only policy of this government as well as the Central government,” said NC spokesman Junaid Mattu.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 7:28:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/%E2%80%98Supply-of-petrol-eatables-halted-in-JampK%E2%80%99/article14576686.ece

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