Afzal Guru Strife Costs Kashmir Rs2,000 Crore

Afzal Guru Strife Costs Kashmir Rs2,000 Crore

18 March 2013
DNA
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

Srinagar: Curfews and hartals post-Afzal Guru execution has cost the Kashmir Valley more than Rs 2000 crore. There has been more than 24 days of curfew and shutdown in Kashmir after Guru was hanged on February 9. According to Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), an umbrella organisation of trade, transport and industry, the Valley has incurred financial loss of Rs80 to 85 crore per day due to shutdowns and curfew. “Every trading partner is incurring losses be it transport, tourism, trade or horticulture. Business community of Kashmir is incurring financial losses of Rs 80 to 85 crore per day due to curfew and hartals,” Mohammad Yasin Khan, chairman of KEA told DNA. From February 9 to 28 there have been more than 12 days of hartal and curfew in Kashmir. This month too so far the Valley has witnessed a shutdown for 12 days. The KEA is planning to seek compensation from the Centre for the losses they have suffered post-Guru hanging. “I blame the government of India for everything because they do not want peace in Kashmir. We will seek compensation from the government of India. We are working on that,” Khan said. Trade, transport and tourism sectors are the worst hit. Most of the trading hubs have been shut whiletransport was off the roads. Tourist bookings were cancelled leaving the people associated with the sector high and dry. What worries the business community is the future since there is no end to separatist-sponsored agitation in Kashmir. The tourism players particularly are worried because the prolonged agitation means no tourists. People associated with tourism trade were expecting huge rush of tourists this year surpassing the 2012 figure of 13 lakh vistors. “Peace is pre-requisite for the development and prosperity of the state. It is also the responsibility of one and all to contribute for the restoration and create healthy atmosphere for better inflow of tourists in the Valley,” said Ali Mohammad Sagar, Jammu and Kashmir minister for rural development and panchayati raj.