Shopian: After complaints from many apple growers and traders of being cheated by non-local buyers, the area marketing authorities in Shopian have advised growers and traders to sell their fruit to non-local buyers only after getting them registered with the area marketing office.
Recently, the office bearers of mega fruit mandi Aglar Shopian held a press conference in which they appealed to civil and police authorities to help traders get back their money which some non-locals had taken while buying fruit from the mandi and who then disappeared.
Muhammad Amin Pir, president of the Aglar mandi, asked the police and civil administration to ensure that all traders who have left Kashmir without paying their dues be brought to account. “It is not the issue of one person or group but of the whole district,” Pir said at the press conference. “All the law enforcing agencies are requested to provide their help in bringing all those cheaters to justice,” he said.
Every year, hundreds of traders from different parts of India visit Kashmir and start buying fruit from mandis here. Some of them buy the fruit directly from orchards by giving cheques to farmers and local traders. Many of them allegedly leave Kashmir without paying their dues. Traders say that some cheques given by them bounce.
Muhammad Ashraf Wani, one of the top traders at the Aglar mandi, said that any kind of cheating, whether by a local or non-local, brings a bad name to the whole traders’ community. “All the aspects related to the trade of fruit in the mandi should be checked so that the poor growers who work throughout the year along with their family are not cheated,” he said.
Wani added that the authorities should also look into the matter of who should be given a trading licence, so that there are checks and balances at the administrative level.
Area Marketing Officer Shopian, Sikander Mahmood, told Kashmir Reader that they have advised fruit growers and traders to sell fruit to non-local buyers only after getting them registered with the department. “Once they bring them to us, we clarify some things and note down their details. If they leave without paying dues, we can take action. But if the persons are not registered with us, how can we take action against unknown persons?” Mahmood said.