Shopian: A complete shutdown was observed in south Kashmir’s Shopian town and adjacent areas on Thursday against continued electricity breakdowns in the district. Roads were blocked by protesters in the district and all shops and business establishments remained closed.
Clashes erupted in the Jamia Masjid area after police allegedly attempted to arrest a shopkeeper. The locals resisted the arrest attempt that led to clashes with police personnel.
A shopkeeper told Kashmir Reader that forces beat him with gun butts without any reason. Four of the shopkeepers were injured while as two of them were allegedly beaten up by the forces.
The locals alleged that they were subjected to immense hardships from frequent power cuts ever since the top government offices shifted to Jammu. “We will continue the indefinite strike if the electricity is not restored as per schedule,” Jahangir Ahmad, a shopkeeper said.
Ghulam Muhammad Lone, a commoner from the town said that despite paying huge power bills, the authorities put the district in darkness. He said that the people must get adequate power supply.
Zubair Ahmad, a student of class XII said the students were the worst hit due to power outages. “We are not able to study without electricity. The authorities have failed to even provide one hour uninterrupted power supply in the town,” he said.
Additional deputy commissioner Shopian, Paraviz Sajad Ganie told Kashmir Reader that they have contacted chief engineer Kashmir regarding power crisis in the district and she assured additional 10 MW of power supply to the area. “It is a fact that there is power crisis in the district and within four days we will increase the supply by 20 percent,” he said adding that within next eight to ten days, the power supply would be restored on the previous schedule.
Mubashir Ahmad Bhat, owner of a computer institute told Kashmir Reader that authorities must come with a permanent solution to the electricity breakdowns so that the education of students does not suffer and common people are able to live their life comfortably.