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news details
Killing of three non-locals shock apple traders, police comes up with wanted posters
10/17/2019 10:33:42 PM
Early Times Report
srinagar, Oct 17: The killing of a non-local fruit dealer in Trenz area of Shopian by terrorists has shocked the people associated with the business in Jammu and Kashmir. Most of them feel uncertain about their harvest as they have been struggling to send their produce to the markets across India due to terror threats.
Yesterday, a group of terrorists attacked two apple dealers from Gurdaspur in Punjab when they were in the area to purchase apples from local growers. One among them, who has been identified as Charanjeet Singh died at a local hospital while his colleague Sanjay Kumar is battling his life in Srinagar hospital.
This isn't the first target killing of a non-local in Kashmir valley after postpaid mobile connections were restored. During the same day, in broad daylight, a migrant labourer hailing from Chhattisgarh was shot dead from a close range at Nihama village in south Kashmir's Pulwama while another person who was accompanying him managed to save his life.
Sethi Kumar was working as a labourer at a brick kiln in the same district and was shot in the head. On Monday evening, in another such incident terrorists from the banned outfits, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba, killed a non-local driver from Rajasthan in Shopian when he was there to load apples and deliver them to Delhi.
Most affected by this have been the apple farmers, who have become a soft target of these groups at a time when their harvest was good and ready to move out of the valley.
"We suffered due to shutdown initially. Usually, these are the months to pick apples and sell them. Traders from outside would come to Kashmir and buy apples in bulk but now he (trader) isn't sure if he would come back alive or not. How would he come?" asks Ali Mohammad, an apple fruit farmer.
Jammu and Kashmir police have now increased security in and around the areas where fruit traders operate and have also pasted posters of two terrorists namely Syed Naveed Mushtaq and Raheel Magray. Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu was a constable with the Jammu and Kashmir police who joined banned Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit and became a commander. His name has surfaced in several cases earlier.
These incidents have also left non-local workers and truck drivers in a tizzy. Several migrant labourers had left Kashmir when article 370 was revoked fearing hostility.
The business community, in general, is worried too. Although, the administration has published advertisements in the local dailies to encourage people to resume normal life but most of the shops are still shut. Officials say the fear of terrorists targeting them has kept the shutters down.
"I feel for the farmers and assure them that all possible security will be provided to sell their harvest and fruits. I would ensure that security to those apple growers and others also; who want to indulge in business and this will be out responsibility" Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander told media at a function.
The Kashmir valley currently accounts for 71% of national apple production. Horticulture contributes 8 to 10% GDP ratio and yearly records Rs. 8000 to 1000 crore turnover. Official figures reveal that Rs. 7 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with this business in the Himalayan state.
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