Srinagar, September 21: In Indian-admin Kashmir, the continued imposition of curfew in Shopian has not only made the life of its people miserable but the apple industry in the district has also suffered damage.The farmers and growers of the area were considering the current month as best for harvesting but with continued curfew for past several days no apple fruit could be garnered.“We are caged for last 15 days and all the business activities have come to a standstill. The orchard owners are the worst sufferers as this is the peak season for harvesting,” District President of Traders Union Shopian, Ghulam Nabi Turray, said in an interview.
He said that the ripe apple crop that could not be garnered was getting damaged and this year the apple production was already less due to untimely rains. He added that now it would be difficult for Shopian apple dealers to fetch good rate for their fruit in the market of New Delhi.
Nazir Ahmad, an apple grower from the district, said, “It is pathetic to see our crop getting damaged. Indian forces don’t allow us venture out from our houses. As most of the apples are ripe, they must be falling from trees.”
The Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan, criticised the authorities for caging the people in Shopian. “It shows approach of the authorities towards the people. Instead of acting against the killers of the civilians, the authorities are caging the locals and traders of Shopian district,” he stated.
He said that most of the people in Shopian depended on horticulture and when they were to reap the rewards of their hard work, the authorities did not allow them even to visit the orchards.
Pertinently, Shopian is under continued curfew after the killing of five civilians by Indian troops in the area earlier this month.