Traders rejected ‘bandh’ in Kashmir Valley, a huge blow to separatists
The Kashmir valley remains in news for strikes, stone pelting and encounters that has affected the life of any ordinary resident of Kashmir. Even the business community has not remained out of the impact of the violent strikes in the valley. Therefore, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) called up a press conference to highlight their grievances that they are facing because of the frequent strikes. They mentioned that they are not opposed to any peaceful protests but the manner in which the strikes were called by separatists was a matter of grave concern for them. In the violent protests traders have to keep their shops shut and as a result they lose the income. The economy of the region is badly affected that in turn impact every ordinary businessman in the valley.
The Vice-President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) categorically said “Our economy is on the brink of getting finished as trade and commerce has taken a backseat,” that clearly shows the plight of the people due to vitiated environment in Kashmir. He made this comment while speaking in a press conference. He said “We need an alternative to frequent strikes as this will infuse some life into the businesses.” The recent comments of KCCI are serious as the Kashmir valley has witnessed a number of strikes during this year that has taken toll on the business in the valley. According the media reports Hotels in Kashmir have only 10 to 15% occupancy as compared to around 40%occupancy during 2017. Intense media coverage on stone-pelting, mob rioting and violent encounters between terrorists and security forces have tarnished the image of the valley and they choose not to visit the valley out of fear. According to another media report mentioned that the internet subscribers in the valley loses around Rs 2.5 crore every day due to internet shutdown and during 2012-2017 the Kashmir economy has lost Rs 4000 crore due to frequent suspension of internet services. While stressing that the business community in the valley has been suffering badly since 2014 the VP of KCCI, Dr AM Mir said the business require a congenial environment to grow. He mentioned that the committee has been formed to assess the losses that the business community has suffered due to frequent strikes in the valley.
The violence in the valley has already marred the peaceful environment. The violent protests only add fuel to the already crumbling economy of Kashmir. Though KCCI was not opposed to any peaceful protests but their grievances must be seen in a perspective. The vitiated environment might have been advantageous for the few but large numbers of people are against it and they want peace. The present press conference of KCCI has only substantiate this truth.