SRINAGAR, June 19: In a bid to prevent the Apni Party’s planned protest demonstration against the administration’s failure to provide essential commodities to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the police arrested several party leaders and workers including party’s district president Srinagar, Noor Mohammad Sheikh.
The arrests took place outside the party headquarters, located at M2 Church Lane in Srinagar.
On Monday morning, a significant number of party workers and leaders, led by Provincial President Mohammad Ashraf Mir, gathered at the party headquarters to initiate a protest demonstration. The demonstration aimed to highlight the administration’s inability to ensure the availability of vital commodities for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The demonstrators carried placards demanding the availability of rations on the Ghats, uninterrupted power service, and sufficient potable water for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. They attempted to initiate a procession, but the police prevented them from exiting the main gate of the party headquarters.
After police locked the main gate of the party headquarters in an attempt to contain the protesting leaders and workers, the demonstrators persisted with their protest inside the office premises. They raised slogans denouncing the administration’s failure and expressing their discontent.
On this occasion, Mohammad Ashraf Mir spoke to the reporters and highlighted that the party had been consistently demanding adequate basic amenities and facilities for the people, but these demands have continuously been ignored by the authorities.
Expressing his discontent with the administration’s failure to provide essential commodities to the people, Mir said, “Today, we had decided to stage a strong protest by organising a procession on the roads, but authorities did not allow us to proceed. Although engaging in peaceful protest with legitimate demands is a democratic and constitutional right for every citizen, unfortunately, the authorities have prevented us from exercising that right.”
He further said, “The people of Jammu and Kashmir are currently enduring numerous hardships due to the unavailability of ration, frequent power outages, inadequate water supply to several areas, and various other deficiencies. These issues have significantly impacted the lives of people and caused difficulties and inconveniences for them.”
“On one hand, the people are grappling with the scarcity of essential necessities; while on the other hand, inflation and unemployment rates are on the rise. This unfortunate situation reflects the failure of the administration to fulfil its responsibilities adequately. The combination of unmet basic needs, economic challenges, and a lack of job opportunities has created a severe burden on the people.” Mir added.
He urged the LG administration to take the necessary measures to ensure a sufficient power supply to the people, including domestic consumers, traders, and the industry. He emphasised that the lack of electricity is not only adversely affecting residents but also tourists, especially during the peak season. It is crucial for the administration to address this issue promptly to avoid further inconvenience and a negative impact on the local economy.
Demanding the restoration of an adequate ration quota for consumers, Mir called upon the government to reinstate the ration scale of 20 kg per person and ensure an ample quota of kerosene oil for consumers across Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “Providing 20 kg per person monthly along with a sufficient kerosene quota is needed for adequate food supplies and essential commodities for all sections of society, particularly those facing economic challenges.”
Besides Mohammad Ashraf Mir, the prominent party leaders who were present on the occasion included the party’s state secretary Muntazir Mohiuddin, chairman of the district development council (DDC), Srinagar, Malik Aftad, state convener Haji Parvez, district president, Srinagar, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, provincial president for the party’s women wing Dilshada Shaheen, DDC Shabir Reshi, state secretary youth Tanveer Pathan, and others.
(NOTE: PRESS RELEASE PUBLISHED AS RECEIVED)