SRINAGAR: Both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and National Conference on Thursday extended support to the strike call given by different trade bodies of Kashmir on September 7, marking the first anniversary of devastating 2014 floods.
In a statement, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed bandh call given against the “government’s failure” to rehabilitate the flood victims as “justified”. “The government apathy in this regard is a matter concern and regret government. It has completely failed to provide relief and rehabilitation package to the flood victims.”
According to the statement, during the past few days, several trade federations including Kashmir Trader and Manufactures (KTMF) Federation, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) and others called upon Mirwaiz to apprise him about the “government inaction” to rehabilitate traders and people affected by the flood.
They told Mirwaiz that government had not taken any concrete step or unveiled any policy to compensate the damages to trade infrastructure, businessmen, and flood victims, the statement read.
The statement read that the traders told Mirwaiz that government had made only verbal commitments to the flood victims, “but practically no step had been taken to redress the sufferings of flood victims including traders”.
According to the statement, Mirwaiz assured the traders that his would extend all support to the demands of Kashmiri traders. “Kashmir bandh call given by trade unions is justified and the Hurriyat (M) fully supports it.”
He that trade is the back bone of every economy and “as such it is highly unfortunate that government has so far exhibited a completely callous and indifferent approach to compensate the damages inflicted upon the traders and trade infrastructure by the devastating floods”.
He said that the traders have been giving crores of rupees to the government as taxes hence it was the duty of the government to come to their aid.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, in a statement, also extended his party’s support to the strike call saying that these floods have “exposed” the government here.
“Last year’s flood was a catastrophe that changed the history of Kashmir. International community usually rushes with rescue and relief to the affected but Kashmiris were denied this support by Indian authorities and also did nothing to support the affected people,” he said.
He said that JKLF has decided to support the protest strike call and other programs given by various trade bodies on September 7.
He said that traders were among the worst-hit during the floods. He denounced India’s action to stop international aid to Kashmir during the floods.
“Kashmiris being a subjugated nation could not use this international support as Indian authorities denied permission and entry to this international aid,” he said.
“Ironically, Indian authorities and its Kashmiri stooges also failed to help the Kashmiri people,” he alleged.
He said that this “situation demands unity and we all shall stand united and protest against this apathy of Indian rulers”.
Hurriyat Conference (G) has also extended support to the strike call.
A spokesman, in a statement, alleged that government of India “wants to break the backbone of the economics” in the state.
“The people, who lost everything in the floods, are living miserable lives and the government, by organizing functions, is ridiculing the hapless people. So we have decided to extend our support to the strike call as a mark of protest against the official apathy.”
He also asked people to hold special prayers on September 7 to seek forgiveness and blessing from Almighty Allah.
National Conference, in a statement, also said that they support the strike call. “We support the strike call given by various Trade Bodies, Civil Society groups and flood victims to commemorate the one year anniversary of the devastating floods that hit Kashmir in September last year.”
“One year has come to pass and the PDP-BJP government has refused to show the bare minimum political will to rehabilitate and compensate the flood victims. Our support to the call is a mark of protest against the Mufti-government’s criminal indifference towards the flood victims”, NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said.