Plea in SHRC over plight of stranded passengers

An official at the SHRC’s Jammu office confirmed to Greater Kashmir that they received a petition plea, filed by activist Raja Muzzafar Bhat.

The state human rights commission Tuesday received a plea against “violation of basic human rights” of Kashmir-bound passengers who are stranded in the winter capital Jammu for the past many days owing to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

An official at the SHRC’s Jammu office confirmed to Greater Kashmir that they received a petition plea, filed by activist Raja Muzzafar Bhat.

“We have accepted it,” the official said.

In his petition, Bhat has stated that for the past more than a week now, thousands of people from Kashmir and other places are stranded in Jammu, including women, children and aged persons who are sleeping under open sky or footpaths at the Jammu bus stand.

A large number of people sleep in taxis and other vehicles which is violation of basic human rights, the petition reads, adding that hotels in Jammu are charging “exorbitantly” and “some stranded passengers have started selling their valuables like cellphones, watches or gold rings to meet their expenses”.

Referring to steep hike in airfares following highway closure, the petitioner has urged the commission to seek an explanation from the government in this regard and also make the airlines accountable.

The plea also states that the stranded passengers be airlifted on priority and “this should be done free of cost or on subsidised rates”.

Demanding arrangement of food and blankets for the stranded passengers, the petitioner states that the government “must issue a circular to hotel/restaurant owners to give a special discount to the stranded passengers”.