SASB diktat on supply of tents draws flak

People Protest Fresh Circular, Block Khannabal-Pahalgam Road

KHALID GUL

Islamabad (Anantnag), Feb 7: People in Akad area of this South Kashmir district Thursday held protest demonstrations against the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) diktat regarding the renting of tents and other material by the locals to the Yatris.
 Hundreds of people from Akad and adjacent villages poured on to Khannabal-Pahalgam (KP) road at Akad and held protests against SASB. They also blocked the road by erecting barricades due to which the movement of traffic was affected for several hours. Police, later swung into action and used force to disperse the protesters.
 “Police resorted to baton-charge to disperse the protesters who retaliated with stones. Several protesters sustained injuries in the police action,” eyewitnesses said.
 The protesters said they have been providing tents and other necessary material to the Yatris for ages. However, the latest circular by SASB have put their livelihood in jeopardy.
 “The new diktat by SASB says that the people who wish to provide tents to the Yatris will have to purchase the tents from the Shrine board and that too at a whopping cost of around Rs 35000,” the protesters said.
 They said SASB has asked people to purchase Solar lights from the Shrine board, which is unacceptable.
 “Not only this, the diktat further says that only two tents will be allowed per family and a copy of ration card will support that,” the protesters added.
 They, however, said that they have been providing tents and other items to the Yatris for generations now and a family that had a Ration Card issued in the name of their grand-father has been split into multiple families.
 “On one hand the government says that the Yatra generates revenue and on the other the Shrine Board is dictating terms and denying the locals to earn their livelihood,” the protesters said.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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