SRINAGAR: The National Conference (NC) on Monday took out a protest march against the power crisis, the ration crisis and the killing of an innocent youth at Thandipora, Kupwara. Asif Iqbal, 22, a Thandipora resident, was killed in army firing near his home on Saturday.
The NC said they were protesting against “a total and abject governance failure in the state”, and lashed out at the PDP-BJP government for the unprecedented state of chaos in J&K and the ruling dispensation’s brazen insensitivity towards the masses.
Scores of NC workers, including women party activists, participated in the protest march that was led by party general secretary and legislator Ali Muhammad Sagar and senior vice-president Mohammad Ramzan Choudary.
The march started from the National Conference headquarters in Srinagar amid anti-government and anti-PDP slogans.
NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said, “There was an acute crisis in the delivery of essential supplies and services in the Valley despite the harsh winter weather, which should have amounted to more empathy and responsibility from the administration. The power crisis is severe and unprecedented. The state government’s failure to take concrete steps to increase the carrying capacity of our distribution network and especially their failure to commission the Alistaing Grid Station has amounted to this situation.”
He added, “Hundreds of areas in the Valley have to spend days if not weeks without electricity and even in the metered areas of the cities and towns, the power supply is erratic, unusable due to low voltage and doesn’t follow any pre-announced schedule. The people, especially the ailing and the elderly, are suffering on account of this, and the state government is in no mood to pay attention and take corrective steps.”
NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said the dearth of basic ration supplies at fair price shops and ration depots across the Valley was ample proof of the PDP-BJP government’s sadistic approach of torturing the people. “Kerosene meant for depots and fair price shops is sold in the open market at exorbitant rates through active collusion of officials and ministers, while the deserving common masses are robbed of their allocated monthly quotas. Basic rations like rice and flour are nowhere to be seen while our chief minister is busy in parading the administration from one district to another to appease her party workers and activists under the fig-leaf of her ‘outreach programme’. The government has collapsed yet again, and the people are paying the costs.”
NC youth provincial president Salman Ali Sagar decried the arrogant and insensitive behavior of the PDP-BJP government towards the people in general and the youth in particular. Terming it condemnable, he said it deflated all claims and rhetoric of the Chief Minister. “This government has declared an open war on the people and especially the youth. Thousands of students who have to prepare for crucial examinations cannot study because of the unprecedented power crisis in the state,” Salman Ali Sagar said.
The NC leaders strongly condemned the killing of a young Sumo driver, Asif Ahmed, at Thundipora, Kupwara, in an incident of firing by the security forces. Demanding strict and exemplary action against the culprits, NC leaders said such incidents of heart-wrenching human rights violations and atrocities were adding to the sense of alienation and anguish in the Valley.