Shehla criticises restriction on civilians vehicles on NH44

Srinagar: Shehla Rashid, General Secretary JKPM today strongly criticised the Governor administration move to restrict civilian movement on NH44 in view of Shri Amar Nath Yatra.

Stating that JKPM whole heartedly welcome our guests who are arriving in the state for Amarnath Yatra Shehla said “The bizarre restrictions that are being imposed on the movement of civilian traffic in view of the yatra are unacceptable and reflect apartheid mentality”.

Nowhere in the world are local populations held hostage to the movement of pilgrims. Traders, students and patients are suffering massively due to this illogical order. Fruit and other goods worth crores are rotting on the highways, causing unimaginable damage to the local economy. It is strange that the traffic department’s order uses the word “convoy” to describe pilgrim vehicles. By doing so, the traffic department is covertly trying to pass this off as a national security concern. Let us assure the world that Kashmiri civilians are no threat to the yatris, and that the yatra is facilitated by the locals and nobody else. It is only the locals who know how to navigate the yatra track and the weather conditions. No yatra would have been possible without the support of locals. Now, all of a sudden, the traffic department is trying to act as if this is the first time that Amarnath yatra is being held! The safety of our guests is our prime concern. But it is the job of the state government to find a solution that does not affect the local population. As Kashmiris, we have time and again demonstrated our hospitality. Even when Kashmiri students were being hounded out of hostels, post-Pulwama attack, the local traders as well as common people demonstrated high ethical standards by offering free boarding and lodging to stranded tourists. But this is how we are paid back! We urge the governor administration to immediately roll back this order and stop portraying Kashmiris as the enemies of yatris.

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