Will continue to pursue release of all detainees: Altaf Bukhari

Urges the government to offer substantial incentives to Kashmir’s apple and walnut growers to compensate for the tax removal from US products; Apni Party leader attributes Banihal's tragic accident to environmental disruption near highway; calls for accountability and CBI probe
Altaf Bukhari addressing a huge rally
Altaf Bukhari addressing a huge rally GK file photo

Srinagar, Sep 12: Reiterating his demand for the release of Kashmiri detainees, including prominent religious leaders like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Moulana Manzoor, Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said on Tuesday that he will continue his efforts to bring jailed individuals back home, enabling them to restart their normal lives with their families. He revealed that he has even taken up the issue of prisoners with the Prime Minister and Home Minister of the country.

In a statement issued here, Bukhari expressed his satisfaction regarding the release of prominent religious clerics, including Moulana Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri and Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi. He mentioned that he has been advocating for the release of these leaders and others for a long time.

The statement reads, "I have been pursuing the release of all detainees for a long time, and I have raised this issue with the Prime Minister and Home Minister. I strongly believe that these prisoners must be given a fair opportunity to restart their normal lives."

"Likewise, prominent religious leaders who are still in jail must be set free so that they can resume their religious duties, guiding people in eradicating social evils, including the prevailing drug abuse." the statement added.

"Given the remarkable influence of these religious leaders over the masses, they have the potential to play a very positive and proactive role in the eradication of social evils that pose a substantial threat to our society." Mr Bukhari said.

On the removal of additional duties on apples and walnuts from the US, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari called upon the government to offer significant incentives to domestic growers as a means of offsetting the loss resulting from the removal of taxes on US products.

"The central government should have engaged in consultations with domestic growers before announcing the reduction of duties on US apples and walnuts. Nonetheless, now that the government has made its decision, it is imperative that they compensate domestic growers by offering them substantial incentives," The statement said.

It elaborated, saying, "In the event of a 20% tax reduction being implemented on US apples and walnuts, it is imperative that the government provides an equivalent level of incentives to domestic growers. This will enable them to compete in terms of maintaining market prices against imported fruits."

The President of the Apni Party expressed deep sorrow over the tragic accident that occurred on the National Highway near Banihal, resulting in the loss of four lives due to a rolling boulder striking the truck they were travelling in.

He remarked, "This accident underscores the environmental disruption stemming from soil and hill manipulation near the highway. The contractors involved in earth removal bear responsibility for these unfortunate incidents."

He emphasised the need for accountability, saying, "Those who contribute to such environmental hazards must be held accountable under the law. In the case of today's accident, a CBI probe must be initiated to determine how boulders rolled down from the nearby mountain, pushing the truck into a deep gorge near Sher Bibi in Banihal. The officials responsible for permitting soil removal, thereby weakening the terrain, and the contractors involved must face legal consequences and be brought to justice.

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