Punjab traders and Kashmiri students stranded in the state question normalcy claims by Govt in J & K

While the Government claims normalcy has returned to Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmiri students stranded in Punjab and Punjabi traders tell a different tale

Punjab traders crippled by Amit Shah’s muscular Kashmir policy
Punjab traders crippled by Amit Shah’s muscular Kashmir policy

Amreek

While the Government claims normalcy has returned to J & K, curfew has been lifted, landlines are working and restrictions have been lifted, traders in Punjab remain a dissatisfied lot. Trade, they complain, has come to a standstill, payments are held up and supplies affected. It is not just J & K but Punjab too has been hit badly, they complain.

Traditional supporters of the BJP, they are reluctant to speak on the situation or blame the central government. But their anxiety is manifest as they wonder what the rest of the year holds for them.

While supplies to the Kashmir Valley has been affected, supplies from Kashmir too have stopped. Sports goods manufacturers in Jallandhar complain that in the absence of the famed ‘ Kashmir Willow’ , several international orders have been cancelled. Traders are also anxious that if supply of fruits, dry fruits and handicrafts from J & K does not resume in quick time, the festive season in North India could become a damp squib and prices could go up.

While the Government claims normalcy has returned to J & K, curfew has been lifted, landlines are working and restrictions have been lifted, traders in Punjab remain a dissatisfied lot. Trade, they complain, has come to a standstill, payments are held up and supplies affected. It is not just J & K but Punjab too has been hit badly, they complain.

Traditional supporters of the BJP, they are reluctant to speak on the situation or blame the central government. But their anxiety is manifest as they wonder what the rest of the year holds for them.

While supplies to the Kashmir Valley has been affected, supplies from Kashmir too have stopped. Sports goods manufacturers in Jallandhar complain that in the absence of the famed ‘ Kashmir Willow’ , several international orders have been cancelled. Traders are also anxious that if supply of fruits, dry fruits and handicrafts from J & K does not resume in quick time, the festive season in North India could become a damp squib and prices could go up.

Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal had initially opposed the abrogation of Article 370. He had opposed it earlier also. But he has been maintaining a studied silence in view of the close relationship that SAD has with the BJP and his daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal being a member of the central cabinet.

Here is what some of the traders in Punjab told National Herald:

Jagtar Singh Sandhu (Transporter): A large number of trucks are stranded in J & K. We have been unable to contact the drivers. We are not sure if the deliveries have been made and whether perishable goods have become stale in the trucks. Relatives of drivers and cleaners are making a beeline to us transporters for information but we have little or no information.

Santosh Kumar Bansal (Rice Trader): I had sent six truck loads of rice for delivery in the Valley. But they have not been able to proceed beyond Jammu. We are caught in a dilemma and can’t decide whether to call them back or whether to ask them to wait longer and explore the possibility of making the deliveries.

Santosh Kumar Bansal (Rice Trader): I had sent six truck loads of rice for delivery in the Valley. But they have not been able to proceed beyond Jammu. We are caught in a dilemma and can’t decide whether to call them back or whether to ask them to wait longer and explore the possibility of making the deliveries.

Satbir Nirjhar (Poultry): People in the Kashmir Valley generally store provisions for the winter in advance. Supplies begin in August and suppliers in Punjab had invested heavily in arranging for the supplies to J & K. But in the prevailing uncertainty, we don’t know if orders will come in, whether deliveries can be ensured and if payments will come in time.

 Punjab traders and Kashmiri students stranded in the state question normalcy claims by Govt in J & K

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