Hoteliers, shopkeepers ‘loot’ stranded passengers in Jammu

Hoteliers, shopkeepers ‘loot’ stranded passengers in Jammu
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Jammu, Feb 15: Kashmir bound stranded passengers staged a massive protest outside Civil Secretariat Jammu alleging that Government has left them at the mercy of Gods while in absence of any market regulation, the shopkeepers at Jammu and looting them at will.
Hundreds of Kashmir bound passengers are stranded in Jammu as the Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed for the 4th consecutive day. The stranded passengers including women and children assembled outside Civil Secretariat on Thursday and raised anti-government slogans. They demanding air-lifting and other facilities including food and shelter.
The protest demonstration disrupted vehicular movement on roads while civil and police authorities rushed to spot and assured them that a langar for them will be installed for them.
Some of the stranded passengers said that they have not eaten something from past two days. “Shopkeepers in Jammu particularly at Bus Stand Jammu are taking advantage of the situation and are looting us at will while authorities are in deep slumber,” they said.
Muzamil Ahmed, a resident of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district said that they are facing lot of hardships. “We have to pay Rs 20 for charging our cell phones to 20%. Barber demands Rs 100 for a shave. A cup of tea comes at a rate of Rs 15. Yesterday, when we went to airport, they demand Rs 27,000 for an air ticket,” he said.
“We have been spending our nights at the bus stand but the government is least bothered”, said a protester adding that the poor passengers are neither being provided any food nor they are being provided any shelter in such harsh conditions”.
The protesters alleged that the women, the elderly and the children are the worst sufferers of this official apathy. “The hoteliers are charging exorbitant rates from us upon which there is no check”.
Authorities pacified the protesters promising them they will be airlifted and a community kitchen will be raised for them.