Flood-hit people heckle Rather, Singh

Srinagar: Hundreds of people affected by last month’s devastating floods in the Valley gave vent to their anger Tuesday when they heckled India’s Minister of State for Prime Minister’s office Dr Jitendra Singh and J&K’s Minster of Finance Abdul Rahim Rather during a function here.
When Singh and Rather were launching government of India-sponsored Jammu & Kashmir Special Credit-cum-Relief camps for the flood-hit at SKICC here, the people stood up and shouted anti-government slogans.
Initially, they raised slogans against the ruling National Conference and Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather. “Shame to National Conference and Rahim Rather,” they shouted. And when Jitendra Singh was delivering his speech, the people again got up from their chairs and heckled him. Though Singh tried to pacify the sufferers that their grievances would be addressed, the latter kept on chanting anti-government slogans.
“I have understood what you are saying and they (state government) too have. You give it a thought that why did God wreak a catastrophe of such magnitude on us,” Singh said amid the din.
The agitated people referred to Omar Abdullah government’s poor response during and after the floods which caused massive and unprecedented devastation across the Valley.
An angry trader while raising the issue of business community questioned the government’s move in providing succor to big business houses while ignoring the plight of smalltime traders. “We won’t remain mute spectators. Nobody is looking at our miseries. We have been left out,” the man shouted to Singh when the latter was delivering his speech.
Later, the angry people, who include many women, walked out of the venue half-way, disrupting the entire function.
The special camp had been organised in collaboration with the Indian Bank’s Association for flood-hit people to grant them soft loans for economic activity and house construction up to Rs 10 lakhs. The loan facility has a moratorium period of two-years for repayment.