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Protests take a political turn in Kashmir over the sand extraction contracts

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By: Shayib Bhat VOV


While the JK administration has awarded contracts to outsiders for sand extraction, stone quarrying and mining etc, now the JK Apni Party has decided to intervene in the protests by the locals against such contracts as they have been claiming that such tendering process has left them without any work.

JK Apni Party has given it a political turn as it did the peaceful protests in every district headquarters of Kashmir valley claiming that they will continue its protests unless the government will not roll back its decision over the issue.

Apni Party said that it is the question of bread and butter for the 5 lac people and their families who are dependent for their survival on the sand extraction etc.

They blamed the administration for being insensitive to the locals and said that such an attitude of bureaucrats would not be tolerated by the common people here.

Meanwhile KNO in its report on the protests held by JK Apni Party on Saturday said, that Apni Party leaders along with the stakeholders of stone quarries, mining and sand extraction staged protests in all districts across the J&K Unit, the Apni Party chief Syed Muhammad Altaf Buhkari petitioned the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to roll back the sand extraction contract order issued post August 5, 2019 in the interest of five lakh people associated with the mining business in the UT. He said that so far J&K administration is unmoved and that the Apni Party will continue to stage protests till the order is revoked.

“Last time, we had given an ultimatum of a week to the government to roll back the controversial order that has hit the livelihood of 5 lakh people associated with stone quarrying, mining and sand extraction. But government remained unmoved,” Bukhari said adding a press conference in Srinagar as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

“Today, Apni Party leaders along with the stakeholders of mining and sand extraction staged protests in all districts of the UT. In some places that include Budgam and Baramulla, our protests were confined to a particular place. Our protests remained peaceful in all districts of the UT.”

He said that the government seems to be least bothered about the “serious issues” but Apni Party is committed to fight for the rights of 5 lakh people who are on the verge of starvation. “We will continue to protest till the order is revoked,” Bukhari said, adding that the 5 lakh people who have borrowed loans from banks to buy boats, tippers, and crusher machines are all set to become defaults. “Does that suit the government,” Bukhari asked.

Asked if the government fails to revoke the controversial order, he said: “We have no option other than to intensify protests.” To a query that other political parties are silent over the issue, Bukhari said he can’t speak on behalf of others. “They may be having other priorities. I don’t see politics in it. This is an issue of a common man and we will strive hard for it,” he said.

With inputs from KNO


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