Hajin residents allege favoritism in relief distribution to flood victims

Gowhar Maqbool

Bandipora: Scores of residents from Khumina, Sonawari in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district Wednesday held a protest against the authorities allegedly for adopting favoritism in distribution of relief material and cheques among the flood-affected families.
Reports said that the blocked the main Hajin-Srinagar road and disrupted the traffic movement for several hours.
The protestors accused the concerned officials of “committing fraud on the behest of certain political leaders.”
They said that more than 1000 residential houses collapsed in Sonawari tehsil due to the floods, however, only few “affluent families” have received the relief material and cheques so far.
“Government is doing injustice to us. Some unaffected families have grabbed major chunk of relief money as they are the supporters of few political parties. Many influential people have received cheques after the floods but I was denied any relief despite being severely affected by floods,” Altaf Ahmad, a protester, told Kashmir reader
Altaf Ahmad said that there were hundreds like him who have not receive any relief from the government so far. “Some of us didn’t even receive a single cheque,” he said.
“My house was completely destroyed and my paddy field was worst hit by floods. I was given nothing as I am not in the list prepared by Sarpanch of village,” another local Mohamed Ramzan said.
The locals demanded intervention of the new Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed into the matter.
When contacted Sub-divisional magistrate Sumbal, Sonawari Ghulam Mohammad Bhat said that the second verification of relief disbursement was in progress. “The deserving will get the cheques within two or three days,” he said.
When asked about alleged favoritism being adopted in distribution of the relief material and cheques, Bhat said, “I will look into the matter. If any official is found guilty, stringent action will be taken against him.”