Suhail A Shah
Anantnag, November 20
The administration in south Kashmir is not allowing non-local truckers to venture into the villages following multiple killings of outsiders by militants in different parts of the region.
The drivers are being asked to park their trucks along the NH-44 to load goods and leave the Valley.
After October 7, 11 non-locals, including five truck drivers have been killed, while three drivers have been injured in south Kashmir. The attacks took place mostly in Shopian and Kulgam districts where truckers from other states travel frequently due to apple harvesting season. Sources told The Tribune that pick-up points have been demarcated for truckers to park their trucks along the NH-44.
“At these pick up points drivers load their trucks. Apple boxes are brought to this point in smaller carriages,” the police source said.
Orchardists said new arrangement has over burdened them. “We have to pay smaller carriages first. Labour charges to load and unload produce have doubled ,” said a farmer from Kulgam district.
“We do not want innocent people to get killed. Lives of truck drivers are of utmost importance, business comes after that,” a group of farmers said. A senior police officer from south Kashmir maintained that it was a temporary arrangement. “We hope things get better at the earliest so that truckers can travel to these parts again,” the officer said.
Series of attacks
- October 4: A truck driver from Alwar, Rajasthan, was shot dead in Sindoo Shirmal, Shopian.
- October 16: A brick-kiln worker from Bihar was killed in Nehama village in Pulwama district.
- October 16: A truck driver from Punjab was killed and another was injured in Trenz village of Shopian district.
- October 23: Two truck drivers from Alwar, Rajasthan, were killed and another one was injured in Zainapora area of Shopian district. Three trucks were also set ablaze.
- October 28: A truck driver from Katra killed in Kanelwan in Anantnag district.
- October 29: Five labourers from West Bengal killed in Katrasoo of Kulgam.
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